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Before beginning any explanations we shall have to 
trespass for a few minutes on the patience of our readers 
while we describe certain articles that are almost neces- 
sities for the successful production of many tricks. The 
first are: 

THE conjurer's CLOTHES. 

The coat is generally provided with four special pock- 
ets, in addition to the several pockets found in every 
well-made garment of its kind. Of these special pockets 
two are in the breast, one on each side, and two inside 
the coat tails, also one on each side. The breast pockets 
are inside the coat and nearly under the arms. They 
open perpendicularly and are spacious enough to hold 
a rabbit, a pigeon, or other large object. The tail pock- 
ets are about seven inches in width and six in depth, 
and the opening slants slightly, being higher at the 
back than at the front. They are placed so that the 
performer's knuckles touch the opening when his arm 
hangs at his side. They are professionally known as 
profondes, and into them is dropped anything of a rea- 
sonable size that the performer wishes to be rid of. 
Some performers have a tempered wire stitched around 
the opening to make it more accessible. 




The trousers, at each side of the back just above the 
thigh, have a small pocket, called a pochette, of a size to 
hold a billiard ball. 

On each side of the vest, inside, there is often a large 
pocket with a perpendicular opening, to hold large ob- 
jects that the performer may wish to produce during his 
performance. It is also well to have a broad elastic 
band sewed to the lower inside edge of the vest. This 
makes the vest fit tightly around the waist, and prevents 
concealed articles dropping out prematurely. 

Some performers wear under the front of the vest 
a pocket of which the mouth comes just to the opening 
of a dress vest, and the lower part passes under the 
waist band of the trousers. It is made of an aluminum 
plate, about seven inches in width and five in depth, bent 
to conform to the shape of the performer's body and 
tapering down to a rounded point. From side to side 
of the upper part is riveted a narrow strip of hard brass, 
convex in form, and the whole is covered with white 
canton flannel, the smooth side on the outside, to form 
a pocket, as shown in the accompanying illustration. 
Into this may be dropped any small article to be got rid 
of, as, for example, a ball that has been palmed, etc. 

A pocket to wear under the front 
of the vest 

A serrante 



This pocket may be slipped in place or removed in a 
moment, which, is a great advantage. 

As most amateurs will not wish to have their clothes 
cut up for the sake of the pockets we have described, 
they will find that detachable pockets made of some 
black stuff and fastened in place by black safety pins 
will prove entirely satisfactory. 


At the back of the table of the professional conjurer, 
just a few inches below the top, is a padded shelf or 
shallow box, technically known as a servants, and in- 
tended to hold or catch whatever is laid or dropped 
on it. Where a performance is at a club or a private 
house a portable servante that may be attached to any 
table or to the back of a chair is frequently used. An 
oblong frame, about five by four inches, made of strips 
of narrow, hard brass, having a small upright brass 
plate about an inch from each end, is one of the best. 
The plates are blackened and in each is driven three 
small holes, into which are thrust thumb tacks to fasten 
the frame in position. The frame is covered with soft 
black cloth, which should sag a trifle in the center of the 
frame, so as to hold whatever may be dropped on it. 
See illustration on the opposite page. 


This is a round stick about thirteen inches long and 
five-eighths of an inch in diameter. It is best made of 
polished hard rubber or of ebony, and at each end has 
an ivory or a silver-plated tip or ferule, about two inches 
long. While it is generally looked upon as an ornament 



or,, perhaps, an emblem of power, the performer will 
find it highly useful. 

Some few other things that are commonly used in 
conjuring, when not described or explained in the trick 
in which they are used, will be found at the end of the 


Before the would-be conjurer may hope to mystify an 
audience successfully with a pack of cards he must mas- 
ter certain sleight of hand moves that are a part of 
every card trick that requires skill. These moves can 
be attained only by constant practice. There are a 
number of these sleights, but in this book only such as 
are necessary successfully to perform the particular 
tricks herein described will be explained. 

Of late years a number of so-called "card kings" have 
appeared whose sole ability consists in making what is 
known as "the back-hand palm," a bit of card jugglery 
which is utterly useless in those beautiful and bewilder- 
ing card illusions that may be shown with an audience 
on every side of the performer. Besides being useless 
this particular move has so frequently been exposed, 
intentionally or carelessly, that it is now very generally 
understood by the average theater goer. 

The Pass: 

One of the foremost artifices resorted to in card con- 
juring is that known as the "pass," "shift," or sauter la 
coupe, as it is called in French. By this sleight a card 
which has been placed in the middle of the pack is 
transferred to either the top or the bottom without any 
one perceiving it. The position of two or more cards 
may be changed as readily as that of one card. 




In order to do this the lower part of the pack on 
which a chosen card is placed must take the place of the 
upper part, which, in turn, goes to the bottom ; in other 
words the positions of the two halves or portions are 

When a card that has been selected is to be replaced 
in the pack, the performer opens the pack, as shown in 
Fig. 1. The card is received on the lower portion of the 

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 

pack, which is then closed. In closing it, however, the 
tip of the little finger of the left hand is inserted be- 
tween the two portions. The pack is now lying in the 
left hand in the position shown in Fig. 2, that is, with 
the thumb on the top of the pack and the fingers on 
the opposite side, the little finger dividing the pack in 

Placing his right hand over his left, the performer 
grasps the lower portion of the pack between the thumb 
at the bottom and the second finger at the top, as in 
Fig. 3. The top packet which is now held by the fingers 
of the left hand, the little finger below and the other 
fingers on top, is drawn away by opening out the fingers, 



and wlien it is clear of the lower packet the fingers are 
closed again, bringing it thereby to the bottom. So that 
the two packets may clear each other in passing, the 
right side of the lower packet must be raised a little, as 
shown in Figs. 4 and 5, The part marked A in Fig. 4 

Fig. 3 Fig. 4 

presses steadily against the root of the left thumb. At 
BB it is held between the ball of the thumb and the 
second finger of the right hand. While in this position 
if the lower part of the left thumb exerts a pressure at 
A, the side CC will be raised, the thumb and second 
finger of the right hand at BB acting as pivots. The 
movements of the two packets must be simultaneous, 
and be made noiselessly. The right hand acts as a screen 
to hide the manipulations and should be held motionless. 
The pack is held at an angle of about forty-five degrees. 

The manipulations should be practised before a mirror 
and slowly until the exact moves are reached, but until 
then speed ought not be sought. 


Instead of opening the pack bookwise to receive the 
selected card, it may be spread out like a fan between 

Pig. 5 

the hands, and the little finger inserted when closing it. 

When it is desired to bring the selected card to the 
bottom of the pack instead of the top, the little finger of 
the left hand must be placed under the card. 

The "pass" may be made with one hand, but as it is 
almost impossible to make it invisibly it is of little prac- 
tical use, and need not be considered here. 

There is still another method, an excellent one, 
whereby the position of a card is changed and it is 
brought from the middle of the pack to the top or the 
bottom or from the top to the bottom and vice versa. 
This is known as 

The Clip: 

The proper way of doing this is not so generally un- 
derstood as the "pass" proper. The pack is held the 
same as for the ' ' pass, ' and as soon as the selected card 



is replaced on the lower part of the pack the left thumb 
pushes the card a little toward the right, as shown in 
Fig. 6. At the same moment the pack is closed. The 
result is that the selected card protrudes about half an 

inch to the right. This can not be seen by the audience 
as the card is covered entirely by the right hand. The 
upper right hand corner of the card is now grasped 
between the base of the third and little fingers, the card 
is drawn entirely away from the pack and placed on 
the top or the bottom. By the same move the top card 
is brought to the bottom or the bottom one to the top. 

The card is not palmed, but is grasped between the 
fingers, as described, and as shown in Fig. 7. The 
position of the hand is perfectly natural. 

The "Diagonal" or "Dovetail" Pass: 

While used for the same purpose as the two-handed 
"pass," the manipulation of this "pass" is altogether 

Fig. 6 

Fig. 7 



different. By its means not only one card, but several 
cards in different parts of the pack may be brought 
together to be kept on the top of the pack. 

Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 

Let us suppose that several cards are selected by the 
audience. Holding the pack, as shown in Fig. 8, the 
performer presents it in turn to each one who has drawn 
a card, with a request that the selected card be placed 
in any part of it. He sees to it, however, that no card 
is pushed home entirely, but that about three-quarters of 
an inch of each protrudes from the pack. For this pur- 
pose the left thumb, which is on top of the pack, presses 
the cards together slightly. 

The performer now places his right hand on top of 
the cards as if to push them flush with the others. What 
he really does, however, is to twist them to the left, by 
help of the thumb, first and little fingers, so that they 
are in the position shown in Fig. 9. The first finger 
then presses them downward as far as the left thumb, 
which is across the top of the pack, will allow. The 
cards are now in the position shown in Fig. 10. 



Then the second, third, and little fingers of the left 
hand press against the side of the protruding part of 

11 Fig. 12 

the cards and straighten them flush with the rest of 
the pack, as shown in Fig. 11. 

These movements must be blended into one and take 
up only a fraction of a second. 

The right hand is now removed from the pack for a 
moment, ostensibly to show that the cards are well home 
in the pack, care being taken to conceal the protruding 
parts at the bottom. Then the right hand rests on the 
back of the pack, and the protruding cards are clipped 
at the left lower corner between the thumb and fore- 
finger of that hand, as shown in Fig. 12. The left hand 
is moved forward a little from the right which move 
separates from the rest of the pack the selected cards 
that are held between the thumb and forefinger and they 
are now placed on top of the pack. A slight upward 
motion of both hands will completely conceal any sus- 
picious movement. 



If the trick requires that the cards should be at the 
bottom of the pack they may be brought there by the 
two-handed "pass." 

The Card Palm: 

By means of this sleight the performer is enabled to 
steal a card or cards from the pack without fear of 
detection and without even touching the pack with the 
right hand. 

The pack is held in the left hand with the cards that 
are to be palmed lying on top. The thumb and third 
finger keep these cards in place and the little finger is 
under them. As the right hand approaches the left and 
is about three or four inches from it, the little finger 
pushes the cards up toward the right hand, the thumb 
and third finger relax their pressure, and the cards 
spring or shoot into the palm of the right hand, where 
they are retained by partly closing the hand. At the 
very moment the cards are palmed the left hand moves 
away slowly. This move which is known as ' ' the spring 
palm" is absolutely imperceptible. 

Should the performer wish to hand the pack to one of 
the audience with the right hand, in which the card is 
palmed, he places the left hand little finger under the 
card or cards that are to be palmed. The right hand 
grasps the pack between the thumb and the second fin- 
ger, as if to make the "pass." The cards that are to 
be palmed are pushed by the left hand little finger 
into the right palm. Then the wrist of the left hand is 
turned outward, while the right hand grasping the pack 
at the left hand upper corner between the thumb and 


first finger hands it to the one who waits for it, as in 
Figs. 13 and 14. 

Fig. 15 Fig. 16 

The Bottom Palm: 

In this method of palming a card the pack lies length- 
wise in the left hand, the lower end in the fork of the 
thumb, the upper end against the first joints of the 
second and third fingers, and the tip of the left thumb 
resting on the face of the cards as shown in Fig. 15. 



As the right hand approaches to take the pack the 
fingers of the left hand press slightly against the bottom 
of the pack, and then partly close, as in Fig. 16. 

The result is that the bottom card of the pack is sepa- 
rated from the rest of the pack and is retained in the 
(left) palm by the bent fingers, while the right hand 
removes the pack. 

The Change: 

By this sleight one card is imperceptibly changed for 
another under the very eyes of the audience. There 
are several ways of making this exchange, but the fol- 
lowing are about the best and apply to the proper per- 
formance of tricks hereafter described. 

The Top Change : 

When the top card is to be changed the pack is held 
in the left hand, the thumb resting across the back and 
the fingers at the bottom. The card that is to be changed 
for the top card of the pack is held between the tips of 
the right hand thumb and the forefinger, the thumb on 
top of the card and the forefinger below it. 

The hands are brought together for just a moment, 
and the left thumb pushes the top card of the pack an 
inch or so to the right. At the same time the card held 
in the right hand is laid on the top of the pack and slid 
back by the left thumb. At that moment the first and 
middle fingers of the right hand clip and carry olf 
the original top card of the pack, as shown in Fig. 17. 
Care must be taken to bring the forefinger, which, with 
the thumb is on top of the card, to the bottom, thus 
replacing the second finger, so that the card will be 



between the thumb and forefinger. The slight noise 
which is unavoidable, must be reduced to a minimum, 
and as soon as the change is made the left hand is drawn 
away, but not too quickly, while the right hand is held 
motionless. The body must not be turned sideways to 
the left at the critical moment, nor should the hands be 
brought together suddenly and then separated in a jerky 

Fig. 17 

fashion, as if something were snatched away. The 
necessary moves ought to be made in a natural, careless 
way in the course of the remarks that accompany the 
trick. While it may seem that these moves will be 
apparent to every one, they are, in fact, almost imper- 

The Bottom Change: 

In this change the card to be changed is left at the 
bottom of the pack instead of at the top. It is some- 
what easier of execution than the top change, and has 
the advantage of being almost noiseless and the still 
greater advantage that instead of one eard, two or more 
cards may be exchanged equally well. 

The pack is held in the left hand, as in the top change. 
The card to be changed is in the right hand between 



the thumb and first finger. On its way to meet the left 
hand, however, the fingers are shifted. The first finger, 
which is below the card, is brought to the top to join 
the thumb, and, consequently, the card is held between 
the first and middle fingers. In this position the thumb 
and first finger can grasp the top card of the pack, while 
the card to be exchanged is brought to the bottom of 
the pack where the second, third, and little fingers of 

Fig. 18 

the left hand are extended to receive it. At the same 
moment the first finger of that hand, which is between 
the pack and the card which is substituted for the one 
that is to be exchanged, is brought to the bottom, as 
shown in the illustration, Fig. 18. 

A New Top Change: 

The pack is held in the left hand, as in the other 
changes. The card to be changed is held lengthwise 
in the right hand between the forefinger and the thumb, 



the forefinger at the upper end and the thumb at the 
lower, as in Fig. 19. 

As the hands come together to make the change the 
left thumb slides the top card of the pack about an inch 
to the right. The right hand lays the card it holds on 
top of the pack, where it is held by the left thumb, and 
at the same time carries off the top card of the pack 
between the first and second fingers and the thumb, 
preserving the same position as that of the first card. 
The card is laid on the table or handed to one of the 
audience. This change is noiseless and very little known. 

The Single Change: 

This is made without the help of the pack. It is use- 
ful when a selected card has been replaced in the pack 
and passed to the top, where it is still to remain though 
the pack is shuffled. The performer takes the two top 
cards, holding them so that they appear as one, and lays 
the pack on the table. 

The cards, slightly bent inward so as to keep them 
together, are held up between the forefinger and the 
thumb, as shown in Fig. 20, and the audience are asked 
if they recognize the selected card. As they see only 
the card that was the second on the top and now con- 
ceals the selected card behind it, they are not slow to 
declare that the performer has made a mistake. Natu- 
rally he is somewhat crestfallen, but at once sets about 
remedying the mistake. Taking the card, face down, 
between the forefinger and thumb of his left hand, he 
gives it a fillip with the first finger of the right hand, 
and when the face of the card is shown again it proves 
to be the chosen card. 



When the performer transfers the cards to his left 
hand, the thumb of that hand rests on the top card, 
while the fingers are on the bottom one. Then the 

thumb draws the top, the chosen, card into the left hand, 
while the fingers push the bottom card into the right 
hand, where it is palmed. See Fig. 21. 

As the right hand is advanced to strike the card the 
fingers naturally contract or partly close, thus concealing 
the palmed card. , 

False Shuffles: 

Without a knowledge of the false shuffle the conjurer 
would be obliged to omit most of the best card tricks 
from his program. By its aid he can, apparently, mix 
up the cards of the pack in a most hopeless manner and 
yet not disturb their arrangement in the least. By 
another variation of this shuffle he may leave undisturbed 
in their original position two or more cards while ap- 
pearing to shuffle them thoroughly. 

Fig. 20 

Fig. 21 



To Leave a Prearranged Pack Undisturbed While Seeming 
to Shuflle It Thoroughly: 

The pack is held lengthwise in the right hand between 
the thumb at one end and the second and third fingers at 
the other, the forefinger bent over the upper side. The 
left hand, palm upward, is under the pack. The right 
hand drops a few cards from the top of the pack into 
the left hand, which places them at the bottom of the 
pack, where they are held by the right thumb, assisted 
by the second and third fingers, as shown in illustration. 
Fig. 22. Again the right hand drops some cards from 

the top into the left hand. Then the right hand appears 
to drop more cards in front of those in the left, but 
merely goes through the motion without dropping any. 
Then a few are really dropped but beJiind those in the 
left hand, and this is continued, pretending to drop them 
in front and really dropping them behind until all the 
cards in the right hand are used with the exception of 
the first parcel which is dropped in front (the top) of 
the pack. 

The pack is now in the order it was before the shuffle. 

Fig. 22 



To heighten the deception the cards in the left hand 
should be kept moving backward and forward. When 
cards are apparently dropped in front of the cards in 
the left hand, the left thumb pushes the cards already 
in the hand toward the fingers, and when cards are 
really dropped behind those in the left hand the fingers 
tilt them back toward the thumb. This tilting motion 
is continued until all the cards in the right hand are 
disposed of. 

Another Method of Shuffling a Pack Without Changing Its 
Order : 

The pack is held in the left hand, the thumb on the 
top, the fingers at the bottom. The left thumb pushes 
a few cards into the right hand. Then the rest of the 
pack is placed in batches of five or six cards alternately 

Fig. 23 

above and below the cards in the right hand, but in the 
following way: The cards that go above are taken from 
the bottom of the pack, whilst those that go below are 
from the top. While there will be no difficulty in push- 
ing the top cards of the pack below the packet in the 



right hand it will not be found so easy to push the cards 
from the bottom of the pack above those in the right 
hand. The difficulty may be overcome, however, by 
placing the right hand thumb against the right side of 
the pack while the left fingers push the bottom cards on 
top of the right hand packet. In this way the right 
thumb will act as a check, as shown in illustration, 
Fig. 23. 

It only remains now for the performer to run his eye 
over the pack in order to find the card that was originally 
at the bottom, and making the pass at that point bring 
the pack back to the order in which it was first ar- 

To Shuffle the Pack so as Not to Disturb the Position ot 
the Top or the Bottom Card or of Both Cards: 

In order that the bottom card of the pack may be in 
the same position after the shuffle as it was before, the 
pack is held in the right hand as is usual when shuffling. 
Then the left hand squeezes it between the thumb and 
fingers, the thumb on top and the fingers below. Now 
if the rest of the cards are lifted out from between the 
top and the bottom cards by the thumb and second finger 
of the right hand, as if to shuffle the pack, it will be 
found that the top and the bottom cards will be clipped 
together by the left hand, and the pack may be shuffled 
over these two cards, leaving the bottom card in its 
original position. 

The same procedure will keep the top card in its place, 
but two shuffles will be necessary, for after the first 
shuffle the top card will be next to the bottom card of 
the pack. By repeating the same shuffle the top card 



will be brought to the bottom of the pack, and then by 
shuffling it may be brought to the top. 

As will be seen, this shuffle keeps both top and bottom 
cards in place. 

To Force a Card: 

By this very necessary artifice a performer induces 
one of his audience to select a particular card which is 
to be used in the course of a trick. 

Like all tricks it requires some practice, but above 
all it needs much audacity. The card to be forced is, 
at the beginning, either at the top or bottom of the 
pack. By means of the "pass" it is brought to about 
the middle of the pack, the tip of the little finger of the 
left hand being held on top of it. As the pack is 
offered to the person who is to draw, the cards are 

Fig. 24 

pushed one by one with the left thumb into the right 
hand apparently to afford the selection of any desired 
card. Just at the very moment that the card is to be 
taken the forced card must be almost at the finger tips 
of the one who is to draw, and be exposed, if possible. 



a trifle more than the other cards. (See Fig. 24). The 
unsuspecting victim will almost invariably draw that 

If, by any chance, another card be drawn than the 
one the performer desired, he must not be disconcerted, 
but must try to force his card on some one else. With 
the first card drawn some minor trick may be performed, 
as, for instance, when the card is returned to the pack 
the performer passes it to the bottom and learns what 
it is. Then addressing the one who drew it, he says: 
"It would not be fair to use that card for the trick, as 
I chanced to catch sight of it. ' ' Then he names the card 
and proceeds with his trick. This ruse generally averts 
all suspicion. 

The Second Deal: 

The object of this sleight, as its name implies, is to 
deal the second card of the pack, while, apparently, 
dealing the top card, which remains unchanged in its 
position after the deal. 

The cards are held loosely in the left hand with the 
thumb on top of the pack, in the position usually 
adopted in dealing. 

The left thumb pushes to the right the two top cards, 
so that they will be between the thumb and middle 
finger, the thumb on top of the first card and the tip 
of the middle finger under the second card. As the 
hands come together, the thumb and forefinger of the 
right hand grasp the two top cards, the thumb pushing 
the top card back to its original position on top of the 
pack, in which movement it is assisted by the left 
thumb. The right forefinger by a closing downward 



movement draws away the second card, which is now 
held between that finger and the thumb free from the 
pack. At the same moment the left hand moves back 
a little to the left. 

The different movements must melt into one another, 
so to speak, and with a little practice, the most keen- 
eyed observer will be deceived. 

Pig. 25 

It will greatly facilitate the proper working of this 

sleight, especially when it is to be repeated several 
times in immediate succession, if the little finger of the 
left hand is held as a rest or stop against the lower 
part of the pack. This will keep the cards safely to- 
gether. See the illustration, Pig. 25. 

The False Count : 

This is a very deceptive sleight. By it the conjurer 
leads his audience to suppose that he has many more 
cards in his hands than he really has. For example, let 
us suppose that the performer holds only six cards, 
while from the nature of his trick the audience believe 
he has eight. 



He holds the pack in his left hand, backs up, and the 
front cards pointing in a slanting direction toward the 
stage. The first card is pushed by the thumb of the 
left hand into the right hand, the thumb of that hand 
drawing it away, and the hand itself moving away a 
trifle toward the right. Then the hands come together 
again and the next card is pushed off in the same way, 

falling on number one. Now the third card ought to 
follow, but at the very moment that the right hand is 
about to draw it away it is quickly drawn back by the 
left thumb on top of the cards in the left hand. The 
hands separate again, as in the case of the first two 
cards, as shown in Fig. 26. 

Bear in mind that the performer counts "one, two, 
three," etc., whether or not a card leaves the left hand. 
So, when he counts "three" this time, he has only two 
cards in his right hand. Then he continues "four," 
really counting a card into his hand; "five" (drawing 
back the card), "six, seven, eight." Apparently he has 
eight cards in his right hand, while in fact he has only 

As there is always a sound when a card is drawn 

Fig. 26 



away, the performer is careful to imitate it when a 
false count is made by sliding his right thumb down- 
ward along the card just at the moment the left thumb 
draws it back. 

If these instructions are carefully followed and the 
count is made deliberately the most astute observer will 
be deceived. 

The "Ruffle": 

To heighten the effect of a trick, as, for example, when 
a card is to disappear from the pack or to mark the 
passage of a card from one place to another, a crackling 
sound with the cards is sometimes introduced. It is 
made by holding the pack in the left hand, with the 
thumb at one side along the edge, the forefinger doubled 
under the pack and the other fingers on top at the 
opposite side, as shown in the illustration. Fig. 27. 
Now with the thumb the cards near the upper left hand 
corner are bent toward the inside of the hand. The 
bent forefinger which is under the pack, presses against 
the cards in the opposite direction. When the thumb 
lets the cards escape again the rebound of the cards 
to their normal position will produce a peculiarly sharp, 
explosive sound. 

To Spring the Cards From One Hand to the Other: 

Hold the pack in the right hand, the thumb at one 
end, the first, second and third fingers at the other. 
Now by pressing the ends of the pack so that the thumb 
arid fingers are brought toward one another (see Fig. 
28), the cards will be bent and be inclined to spring 



from the hand. By continuing the pressure the cards 
will slide out from under the finger tips. The open 
left hand which must be held some inches below the 
right, must catch the cards as they fly downward and 
be brought up to the right hand, squaring up the pack. 

Fig. 28 

By practice the distance may be increased and the 
springing be made in a horizontal and also in an upward 
direction. Care must be taken not to follow the cards 
with the right hand to the left, as that will scatter 



The Slide: 

By this useful little sleight the card next following 
the one at the bottom of the pack is substituted for the 
bottom card. 

The pack is held face down in the left hand, the 
thumb on one side, the fingers on the other. As the 
right hand approaches the pack, ostensibly to draw 
away the bottom card, the third finger of the left hand 
slides that card back about an inch toward the wrist. 
(See Fig. 29.) The thumb of the right hand is then 

Fig. 29 Fig. 30 

placed against the pack and the forefinger under the 
now partly cleared card that is next to the one at the 
bottom. This card the forefinger draws out and with 
the help of the thumb it is removed from the pack. 
The audience imagine it is the bottom card, which they 
saw but a moment before. As soon as the card is re- 
moved, the forefinger of the left hand presses the front 
end of the pack and pushes it back to square it with 
the bottom card. 

When practicing this sleight it is well to moisten 
slightly the tips of the third finger of the left hand 
and the forefinger of the right hand. 



In the illustration the hand holds the pack so that 
the cards may be seen. This is done in order to give 
the reader a better idea of the position of the cards; 
in doing the trick, however, the pack is held with the 
faces downward, as in Fig. 30. 

The Forcing Die: 

This is a most useful adjunct to the conjurer who 
wishes to force number two or three by the throw of a 

Fig. 31 

Fig. 32 

From the diagram it is seen that the "one" and the 
"four" spots are missing from the die, and are re- 
placed by an extra "five" and "three." The spots are 
arranged as follows: The two "three" spots are on 
opposite sides, as are also the two "fives," while the 
"six" and the "two" are opposite, as shown in Fig. 
31. When the performer places four heaps of cards on 
the table, and wishes to force one, he takes care that this 
heap is either the second or the third in the row. 

Let us suppose that number three is to be forced. He 
announces that the spots on the die will indicate which 
heap is to be selected or used, and as there happens to 
be only four heaps, it will be necessary to count back- 



ward, should five or six be thrown. The heaps are in 
the order shown in Fig. 32. If two is thrown, the 
performer begins to count from the right, which will 
make the third card, number two; if three, he counts 
from the left, when the third heap will be number three. 
If five he counts from the left and one number back; 
if six, he begins to count at the right and then two 
numbers backward, which will cause him to end with 

It is evident that no matter what number may be 
thrown on a die made in the way described, the count- 
ing may always be done so that it will stop at three, the 
desired heap. Should it be necessary to force the second 
heap, the counting must be in an opposite direction. 

The Prearranged Pack: 

Difficult as most card tricks are there are certain 
others that may almost be said to do themselves, and 
yet are by no means to be despised. 

There is little, if any, sleight of hand called into 
play, the essentials being a clear head, a good memory, 
a prearranged pack of cards, and some practice. The 
cards are not mechanical affairs, but an ordinary pack, 
discarding the "joker," arranged in a certain order! 
The better to remember this order, resort is had to a 
sentence made up of words having almost the same 
sound as the numbers they represent. The preparation 
of this sentence may be left to the ingenuity of the 
performer, or the following may be used. 

4 . 9 king aee 10 6 jack 

Four benign kings won a tender sick knave 

5 3 8 queen 2 7 

fifty -three hated, queens to save. 



* 4' * 

* * ♦ * 

♦ - 




► ^ 


CO ♦ 

♦ ♦ 



^ i 

► ^ 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

>»■' „ 

* ♦ ♦ 



4* ♦ 

•f* 4' 't^ 

4- ♦ * 


05 ;c! 






■-3 M 















This is not very brilliant verse, nor is it clearer than 
some of Lewis Carroll's lines, and yet it answers its 
purpose admirably. 

So much for the numbers, or spot values, of the 
cards. As it would not do to have all of one suit to- 
gether, they also are arranged, say, as follows: spades, 
hearts, clubs, and diamonds, and the more easily to 
remember this sequence, we bear in mind that the four 
consonants of the words "SHow CoDe," here printed in 
capitals, represent the order of the suits. 

To prepare the pack, we begin by laying the four 
of spades, face upward, on the table. On top of this 
place the nine of hearts, next the king of clubs, and then 
the ace of diamonds. We proceed in this way with the 
rest of the pack, always following the values as sug- 
gested by the formula and the suits as laid down in the 
"SHow CoDe." The accompanying diagram may help 
the inexperienced in arranging the pack. When the 
cards are all laid out it will be found that every fourth 
card is of the same suit, every second card the other suit 
of the same color, and every thirteenth card is of the 
same spot value and of the next suit in the order of 

When these instructions on the arrangement of the 
pack are thoroughly mastered, it is surprising what an 
expert performer at cards the merest tyro may become. 

This pack may be cut (not shuffled) as often as de- 
sired without disturbing its order in the least, and 
when cut four or five times in quick succession it will 
appear as if the cards are thoroughly mixed. To still 
further mislead the audience, the performer may resort 
to the false shuffle. 



Now for the wonders that may be worked with this 

The performer requests some man or boy to empty 
the breast-pocket of his coat. Then placing the pack 
behind his own back, he asks the one who is assisting 
to draw one card and, without looking at it, to put it 
into the empty pocket. As soon as this is done the 
performer inserts the little finger of his left hand at 
the place in the pack from which the card was taken, 
and, without disarranging the order of the cards in 
any way, cuts the pack at that place, putting the upper 
part under the lower, in fact, making the pass. Bring- 
ing the pack in front of him, and getting sight of the 
bottom card, he recalls the memorized formula and will 
know almost immediately which card was drawn, for it 
must be the one that comes just after the bottom card 
of the pack. For example : should the nine of diamonds 
be drawn, and the pack be cut as directed, the bottom 
card will be the four of clubs. "Clubs," the performer 
says to himself "are followed by diamonds and four by 
nine." Turning to the one who has the card in his 
pocket, the performer says: "There are two colors in 
a pack, red and black. Which do you choose ? " Should 
the answer be red, the performer says: "Red, be it." 
If, on the contrary, the answer be black, the performer 
simply says: "You take the black? Very well; then 
I shall use the red. ' ' This system of forcing, by always 
interpreting the answer to suit the purpose of the per- 
former, is followed throughout the trick, and is rarely 
detected by the unsuspecting audience, as a long experi- 
ence proves. The next question of the performer is: 
' ' There are two red cards, diamonds and hearts. Which 



do you choose?" A slight emphasis on diamonds will 
generally cause that suit to be mentioned, but should 
the answer be hearts, then the performer, following his 
forcing method, says: "You choose hearts? Very 
well; then I have diamonds." Continuing, the next 
question is: "Let us divide the thirteen cards of that 
suit into two, say, the ace, king, queen, jack, ten, nine, 
and eight in one part, and the deuce, trey, four, five, 
six, and seven in another. Now which do you choose?" 
And no matter which is mentioned, the first pack is used 
for the trick. Again and again the pack is divided until 
at last but two remain, and of the two the nine is chosen 
by the performer, who says: "There is now only one 
card remaining, the nine of diamonds. Take it from 
your pocket, please." Which is done. 

Another mystifying trick is that of calling for the 
cards that some one has selected at random. 

Having gone through the pretense of shuffling the 
cards, the performer offers the pack, without letting it 
leave his hands, to one of the audience with the request 
that it be cut. This done, he takes the upper portion 
in his right hand, and holding the lower part in his 
left he extends it to the one who made the cut with the 
remark, "As it would be impossible for me to know 
what these cards are, will you be good enough to take 
as many as you wish, without letting me see them? 

"I would suggest," he continues, "with a view to 
saving time, that you select only seven or eight, but 
that is not material. Take as many as you please. ' ' As 
soon as the cards are drawn, which must be in a lump 
from the top, not from different parts of the pack, 
the left hand pack is placed on the other and 



the performer gets sight of the bottom card. "Now, 
sir," he says, "how many cards have you?" and as he 
knows the card that follows the bottom card, he begins 
to ask for them in their routine until all are handed to 
him. It is not even necessary for him to ask how many 
cards are drawn, for by slightly raising the inner cor- 
ner of the top card with the left thumb and getting a 
glimpse of its index he knows the number almost imme- 
diately. There is little danger that this will be noted by 
the audience, for their attention will be fixed on the one 
who has drawn the cards. 

When, by continued practice, the performer has be- 
come proficient in the handling of this prearranged 
pack, he may give further evidence of his skill by telling 
the name of the card that will be found at any number 
in the pack; and for this the bottom card is the key, 
and to begin the first thing is to find the suit. This is 
learned by dividing the number called for by four. If 
there be no remainder the suit is the same as that of 
the card at the bottom of the pack. If the remainder 
be one, it is the next suit in the arranged order; if the 
remainder be two, it is the second suit in the order, or 
the other suit of the color of the bottom card, and if 
the remainder be three it is the third suit in the order. 
When the suit is known, which takes a moment only to 
learn, the performer mentally divides the number called 
for by thirteen, which is the number of cards in each 
suit. That is easily done when one reflects that thirteen 
goes into twenty-six, thirty-nine, and fifty-two (the num- 
ber of cards in a pack) without a remainder. In divid- 
ing the number called for by thirteen, should there be 
no remainder the spot value of the card is the same as 



the bottom card, though this rarely happens. When 
there is a remainder, count over mentally in the prear- 
ranged order (four, nine, king, etc.), beginning with 
the top card of the pack, and when as many cards are 
counted as equal the number of the remainder, the last 
card will have the same spot value as the card that is 
called for. To illustrate this, let us suppose that the 
bottom card of the pack is the seven of hearts, and the 
thirtieth card is called for. Dividing thirty by four we 
find a remainder of two, by which we know that the 
card is a diamond. Dividing thirty by thirteen, the 
remainder is four. In the order of the formula, after 
the bottom card, which is a seven, comes the four, the 
nine, the king, and, finally, the ace, so it follows .that 
the thirtieth card from the top is an ace, and conse- 
quently the asked for card is the ace of diamonds. To 
prove this, try it with a prearranged pack. 

It is always a great mistake to repeat a trick that 
has impressed an audience; of course, the professional 
is not called on to do this, but the amateur will fre- 
quently find himself urged to "do it again." As to 
refuse might seem ungracious, the young magician 
ought, whenever possible, to have another similar trick 
to present that is effected by entirely different means. 

"With the trick just described it frequently happens 
that the performer has no sooner told that the thirtieth 
card (in this case) is the ace of diamonds than some one 
will call out another number. " It is as easy to tell one 
number as another," says the performer, "and it would 
be merely a repetition of what I have just done. Let 
me show you the same trick in a different form. If some 



one will call the name of a card I will tell him what 
number it will be found in the pack. Now, who speaks 1 
You, sir? The deuce of clubs? Certainly; that is the 
twenty-fifth card, as we shall see." He counts off the 
cards, laying them face down on the table, and when he 
reaches the twenty-fifth card, he turns it face upward, 
and, sure enough, it is the wished for card. 

To gain this knowledge the performer, to begin, must 
know the location number of the first card which cor- 
responds in the number of spots to that of the card 
called for. Grlancing at the bottom card, he counts 
mentally, beginning with the top card of the pack, until 
he reaches the card he is in search of. The number 
that this card holds in the pack, which must be less than 
thirteen, he divides by four. Should it be of the suit 
called for he need go no further, but simply announces 
that number as the one at which the card called for is 
located. But should the proper suit be the next in or- 
der, he adds thirteen to reach the proper number; if 
the suit be the second in order, he adds twenty-sis, and 
if third in order he adds thirty-nine. 

On the first reading this may not be perfectly clear, 
but to make it so, let the reader take an arranged pack, 
and suppose the deuce of clubs, already quoted, to be the 
card named, and the seven of hearts to he at the iottom 
of the pack. Begin to count with the top card, which 
will be the four of clubs ; then the nine of diamonds, the 
kings of spades, the ace of hearts, the ten of clubs, the 
six of diamonds, the jack of spades, five of hearts, three 
of clubs, eight of diamonds, queen of spades, two of 
hearts— which is the twelfth card, but as the required 
suit, clubs, is next in order to hearts, thirteen must be 



added, and counting off the cards the twenty-fifth will 
prove to be the desired card. 

Just here, let us say, that when doing a trick, whether 
of cards or anything else, the performer should never 
look at his hands, unless he wishes to direct attention 
to them. How then may we ' ' glance at the bottom card 
of the pack," as directed in doing the foregoing trick? 
In this way : holding the pack across the palm of the left 
hand so that it may be raised just a trifle by pressing 
the thumb against the edges of the cards, the performer 
raises his hand almost on a level with his eyes, and 
extends his arm naturally and carelessly toward his 
audience, making, at the same time, some trifling remark, 
as, for instance, "Pretty tricks, these card-tricks, aren't 
they ? " At this moment he sees the bottom card. Other 
methods will suggest themselves as one grows more pro- 

One more trick that may be done with the prepared 
pack, which is very easy: that is, professing to deal 
oneself all the trumps in a whist hand. It is simplicity 
itself. Have the pack cut for trumps in the usual way, 
and then deal out four hands on a table, the faces of 
the cards down. Let the fourth hand be the dealer's. 
When all the cards are dealt, turn up the dealer's hand, 
and it must, necessarily, be all trumps, since every fourth 
card is of the same suit. But do not, on any account, 
show the other hands, as they might reveal the whole 
secret of the trick. 

The Color Change: 

By means of this sleight the bottom, card of the pack, 
which the audience have seen only a moment before, is 



made to disappear or rather to be replaced by a card 
of a different color and suit. 

Method 1. When this method is followed only the left 
hand is used. 

The pack is held in the left hand, faces toward the 
audience. The top card is reversed, that is, it is turned 
back to back with the other cards. To the audience it 
will appear as if the pack were lying face upward in 
the left hand. It is held with the face of this one card 

Fig. 35 

toward the audience and the fingers of the left hand 
arranged as follows: The forefinger is at the left bot- 
tom corner; the second and third fingers are along the 
bottom edge, and the little finger is behind the pack 
near the right bottom corner. The thumb is behind the 
pack with its ball against the hindmost card, as shown in 
Fig. 34. The pressure of the four fingers maintains the 
pack in a standing position. Now if the thumb presses 



gently against the hindmost card (really the first card 
of the pack), slides it up and over the other cards, the 
top of the pack serving as a pivot, and then presses it 
down (see Fig. 35), it will come over and cover the face 
of the reversed card. The fingers help it into position, 
and if the entire movement be accompanied by an up 
and down motion of the hand, the operation will be 
imperceptible. Should the performer choose, he may 
repeat this change until every card that faces him has 
been exhausted, but it is not wise to do this more than 
four or five times. 

Method 2. The pack is divided in two, and the cards 
are held so that one packet covers the other about half 
way. The faces of both packets are toward the audi- 
ence, with the exception of the front card of the upper 
packet which is reversed, as in Fig. 36. To the audience 
it will appear as if the cards of the packets face in 
opposite directions. The cards are held in the left hand 
as in the illustration. The pack is now covered with 
the right hand and with the first finger of the left hand 
the back card of the upper packet is pushed down. This 
card will now cover the card of the lower packet that 
was in sight, and it will appear as if the face of the 
card had changed in some mysterious way. Even if the 
audience imagine that a card from the upper packet was 
brought down they will soon abandon that idea since 
they suppose the cards of the upper packet face the other 
way, and pushing one down would bring it with its 
back to them. 

Method 3. In this the pack is held in the left hand, 
the faces toward the audience, the fingers on the top, 
the thumb on the bottom, and the little finger at the 



back, as in Fig. 37. The right hand, perfectly straight, 
is brought in front of the pack, the tips of the fingers 
of the left hand resting on it, as in Fig. 38. The pack, 

Fig. 37 Fig. 38 

which is held between the forefinger and thumb of the 
left hand, is now turned round. The little finger which 
presses against the back card prevents that card from 
turning also, and it is kept in position and pressed for- 
ward into the palm of the right hand. The second and 
third fingers of the left hand, which are on top of this 
card, keep it down so that its upper edge does not show 
above the right hand. (See Fig. 39.) In the illustra- 
tion the card is shown to make this explanation clearer, 
but it must always be kept so that the audience can not 
see it, being pushed down by the second and third fingers 
into the palm of the right hand. 

The pack in the left hand has the thumb on top and 
the three fingers below, while the little finger presses the 
card against the palm of the right hand. The right 
hand is just below the pack. (See Fig. 40.) 



When the right hand is now brought upward with a 
sliding motion over the pack it leaves the card which is 
in its palm on the pace of the pack. 

Fig. 39 Pig. 40 

Method 4. While very simple, there is no better method 
of making the color change than the following: The 
performer holds the pack horizontally in his left hand, 
the thumb at the upper side, the fingers at the lower. 
The cards face toward the audience, as shown in Fig. 

Fig. 41 

41. Holding the pack in this way, the palm of the right 
hand is turned outward so that every one may see it is 
empty. Then, as if to show that no cards are concealed 



in the left hand, the performer passes the pack to the 
right hand, taking it, the faces toward his palm, with 
the thumb at the lower corner of the end near the 
wrist, the forefinger at the lower corner of the opposite 
end. When the left hand has been shown to be empty 
the performer passes the pack back again to that hand, 
which seizes the cards with the thumb at their upper 
sides and the fingers at the lower, in the position they 
were held at first. At the same moment, or may be 
just a fraction of a second before, the tips of the second 
and third fingers of the left hand push the back card 
of the pack down and into the right palm. The right 
hand is now brought over the face of the pack, and 
the palmed card is left there. 

Care must be taken that the fingers of the right hand 
are kept close together, so that when the card is palmed 
it will not show itself above the first finger. Instead 
of palming the card in the orthodox way, the "clip," 
described on page 10, may be used. The moment the 
pack is to be replaced in the left hand the hindmost 
card, as in the first instance, is pushed downward, but 
this time between the root of the third and little fingers 
of the right hand which clutch it at the lower right 
hand corner. The pack in the left hand is held as at 
the start. The right hand, which must be held per- 
fectly straight, is removed a little way from the pack. 
It then covers the pack and with a sliding motion 
leaves the card it holds at the front of the pack. 

Method 5. In this method the pack is held almost 
horizontally in the left hand, the thumb on the upper 
side, the second, third, and little fingers on the lower; 
the 'forefinger is at the back of the pack. The per- 



former shows his right hand to be empty, and with it 
covers the front card of the pack. As he does this, his 
left forefinger slightly frees the upper edge of the back 
card, by picking at it, and then pushes the card back- 
ward into the fork of the thumb and forefinger of the 
right hand, where it is secured by clipping it, care 
being taken that the card does not show above the first 
finger. The hand, which is held perfectly straight, de- 
posits the card over the face of the first card as it 
passes over. The color change is made. 

This color change may also be made when a thin 
elastic band is placed crosswise around the pack, thereby 
precluding the idea that the card is taken from the back 
of the pack and placed on the front or taken away from 
the front. On three or more cards a black line is drawn 
on the face lengthwise and another crosswise with ink, 
while on the back of the cards only a line lengthwise is 
made (See illustrations, Figs. 42 and 43). 

> I ♦ 


Fig. 42 Fig. 43 

When the bonafide color change has been made two 
or three times, the prepared cards are secretly added to 
the back of the pack. A thin elastic band worn black 
by use and large enough to go crosswise around the 
pack is placed first, lengthwise around the pack without 
including the prepared cards. To do this so that it will 



not be noticed, the pack should stand on its long edge 
in the left hand, with the face toward the audience, the 
little finger dividing the prepared cards from the pack. 
The band is now stretched and placed crosswise around 
both the pack and the prepared cards. The pack may 
now be thrown in the air and shown back and front 
as the inked line on the back will be taken for an 
elastic. The color change in the last method may be 
made as the elastic will in nowise prevent cards being 
pushed downwards with the left forefinger and being 
placed in the front of the pack with the right. All 
the prepared cards may be changed from back to front 
of pack. 

To Make a Card Disappear from a Glass: 

For this trick the performer will require: 
1. A tumbler that is wide enough at the top to admit 
a card, but is a little taller than a card. It should 
taper towards the bottom, and, by preference, be orna- 
mented, as shown in Fig. 44. 

Fig. 44 

2. A piece of transparent celluloid, cut to the exact 
size of a card. 

3. A playing card that is bent double. A court card 



is the best for the purpose, as the crease is not readily 
seen when the card is not folded. (See Fig. 45.) 

4. A handkerchief, which may be borrowed from the 
person who is to assist in the trick. 

The tumbler stands on the table, also a pack of cards 
with the creased card, not bent, on top and beneath it 
the piece of celluloid. 

Some one is asked to assist and he is allowed to 
examine the glass, which he is told to hold up with his 
right hand. 

The performer picks up the creased card with his 
right hand and with it the celluloid, which is kept con- 
cealed behind it. The assistant is asked to call out 
the name of the card. The performer holds the card 
with his thumb at the bottom and his second finger at 
the top, bending it out a little the better to keep the 
celluloid in place. Then with his left hand he throws 
the borrowed handkerchief over it and asks the assistant 
to place the tumbler under it. As soon as the card is 
covered, the performer takes hold of it through the 
handkerchief with his left hand, while the right hand, 
which is still under the handkerchief, bends the card 
in two and palms it. As it is only half size now it may 
be palmed without being detected. The left hand 
holds on to the celluloid shape and its outlines under 
the handkerchief give the impression that the card is 
still there. The assistant is now requested to take hold 
of the card (the celluloid) from outside the handker- 
chief. "You are sure you have it?" asks the per- 
former. "Of course I am," is the answer, and every 
one will endorse what he says, since the outlines of the 
supposed card may be seen plainly. He is told to 


push the card into the tumbler, which is still covered 
The performer gets rid of the palmed card by dropping 
It into a convenient pocket, and informs the assistant 
that the card will leave the tumbler in a moment, with- 
out his knowing it. 

Pulling up his sleeves, the performer puts his left 
hand under the handkerchief and grasps the glass near 
the bottom, telling the assistant to let go of it At the 
same moment catching hold of a corner of the hand- 
kerchief and crying "Go," the performer jerks away 
the covering and shows the tumbler empty. It may be 
turned around, for there is no danger that the fake 
will drop out The tapering sides of the glass hold the 
celluloid firmly, which, besides, is curled slightly inside 
the lower part of the glass. The design traced on the 
tumbler helps in the deception and effectually conceals 
the celluloid. 

The card may be produced from the performer's 
pocket or m any way that may suggest itself.. 

The Transformation of the Jack of Clubs: 

_ Three of the Jack of clubs are distributed as follows 
m the pack: One is laid on the top, a second is placed 
the third from the top, and the third next to the bot- 
tom The performer makes the "pass" so as to bring 
the top Jack to the middle of the pack, and forces it 
on one of the audience, who is asked to look at it so 
as to know it again, and then put it back in the same 
plaee m the pack. Again the pass is made and the 
card IS brought back to its original position. The per- 
former now ruffles the pack with his left hand and 
showing the bottom card to the one who drew the card' 



asks whether that is the card he selected. As the bot- 
tom card is, let us say, the seven of spades, the answer, 
necessarily, must be "No." "That's a bad beginning," 
says the performer, "and as that particular card is the 
most fractious one in the pack, always pushing itself in 
where it is not wanted, I'll get it out of the way and 
lay it on the table." Lowering the pack, face down- 
ward, he slips back the seven of spades with the third 
finger of the left hand, which is at the bottom of the 
pack, and with the second finger and thumb of the right 
hand takes instead the card that follows, a Jack of 
clubs, and places it, face down, on the table. Then 
putting his little finger between the two top cards and 
the rest of the pack he passes those two cards to the 
bottom. There will be now one Jack of clubs on top 
of the pack and another next to the bottom, while at 
the bottom is some indifferent card, say, the nine of dia- 

"As I was so unfortunate with the first card," con- 
tinues the performer, "I hope to do better this time. 
I think you will find, sir, that the card now at the 
bottom is the one you selected." 

He shows the card and is again told he is wrong. 
"Dear me," he exclaims, "I don't know that I can do 
better than put it alongside of the other on the table." 
He proceeds as with the seven of spades and lays the 
second Jack of clubs on the table. "As many good 
things go in threes," he says, "let me try once more. 
As I have had no luck at the bottom of the pack, 
suppose I try the top for a change." He now, appar- 
ently, shows the top card, but, really, shows the two 
top cards as one, the second being, we will suppose, 



the ten of hearts. Keeping the two cards well together 
his thumb at the top and first finger beneath, he slides 
them to the right, protruding about an inch. The 
thumb of the left hand keeps them in position. Now 
the thumb and first finger of the right hand turn up 
the two cards just a trifle, so as to bring in sight the 
ten of hearts, as shown in Fig. 46. The moment he is 

Fig. 46 

told that It IS not the selected card the performer 
presses the cards down to their normal position, and 
with the right thumb slides the Jack of clubs free of 
the ten of hearts, holding it between the thumb and 
first finger. At the same time the left thumb draws 
the ten of hearts back on the pack. With a little care 
this change is imperceptible. 

The Jack of clubs is now placed on the table, face 
downward, with the others. 

The seven of spades and the nine of diamonds are 
now brought from the bottom of the pack to the top 
and they will be in the following order.- First the 
•top card, which is the seven of spades; second,' the 
nine of diamonds; and third and last, the ten of hearts 

ihe three Jack of clubs are on the table, faces down 



"So far," says the performer, "my endeavors have 
come to naught. ' ' Then turning to one of the audience, 
he says, "Perhaps this gentleman may be more success- 
ful. Will you, sir, be good enough to select one of 
those cards that are on the table?" The performer 
picks up the one that is pointed out, and shows it to be 
the Jack of clubs. As he is putting it back on the 
table he exchanges it, by the bottom change for the 
top card, the seven of spades. Then a second card is 
selected and that proves to be a Jack of clubs. ' ' That 's 
very remarkable," he says, "the Jack of clubs has evi- 
dently come to life." While saying this he makes the 
exchange again, this time for the nine of diamonds, 
which he throws carelessly alongside the other card, 
face down. He then turns over the third card. "Jack 
of clubs again! Why, it seems to be nothing else," 
he says, and exchanging it this time by the top change 
for the ten of hearts, lays that on the table. As there 
can not be more than one Jack of clubs in the pack, 
the performer declares there must be a mistake some- 
where, and asks some one to turn the cards over, and 
they prove to be the cards that were first shown, which 
were declared to be wrong. In the meanwhile the per- 
former gets rid of the two bottom Jacks, and throws 
down the pack so that it may be examined. 

The Prediction: 

A pack of cards is handed out to be shuffled. When 
it is returned the performer learns what the top card 
is by simply bending the left hand bottom corner, so 
that he may see the index. Laying the pack on the 
table, face down, he asks some one to divide it in two. 


He informs his audience that by looking at a card in 
one packet he is enabled to teU which card is on top 
of the other packet. 

In proof of this he lifts a few cards from the packet 
which was the lower part of the pack, and looking at 
one card he names the top card of the other packet. 
As he knows that card, this is an easy matter. Looking 
at the cards of the lower packet is merely a ruse to 
learn what card is on top, for while the audience 
imagine he is looking at one of the cards when he opens 
the packet he is really shifting the top card so that 
he may see its index, as shown in Fig. 47. When the 

Fig. 47 

performer has named the top card of the upper packet 
and it is found to be correct, he deliberately places the 
former lower packet on top. Then he shuffles the pack 
without disturbing the top card, and proceeds as at 
first. In this way he may continue indefinitely, without 
fear of discovery. 

He is careful to give his audience the impression that 



when he lifts at hazard the cards from the lower packet, 
as already shown, that the particular card he sees 
enables him to tell the top card of the upper pack. To 
strengthen this impression, when he looks at the card 
of the lower pack he says: "Ah! the five of dia- 
monds — " or whatever it happens to be — "naturally, 
the top card of the other packet must be the Jack of 
Clubs, just as naturally as day follows night." It is 
wonderful how this little subterfuge tends to mislead 
even intelligent people ; most of them will imagine that 
the trick is the result of some mathematical formula 
worked out by the performer. Not for a moment must 
any one be led to suspect that the performer's sole 
object in handling the lower packet is to get sight of 
its top card. 

To Discover a Card Drawn from the Pack: 

Method 1. A card is drawn, and when it has been 
replaced in the pack, the one who drew it is asked to 
square up the cards. When the card is put back the 
performer watches to see in what part of the pack it 
goes. He puts the pack behind his back. He knows 
about where the card is, that is, whether it is near the 
top, the bottom, or the middle of the pack. Let us sup- 
pose it is near the top, and the performer thinks there 
are nine or ten cards above it. (Let us say, just here, 
that an expert handler of cards can tell almost the exact 
number, at a glance.) Holding the pack behind his 
back he takes three cards from the top, and showing 
them asks if the drawn card is among them. Of course 
it is not. He throws the three cards on the table, and 
then with three more cards taken from the top he goes 


through the same procedure. To take three more cards 
from the top would be extremely hazardous, as the se- 
lected card might be among them and there would be 
no way to know it. Instead of pursuing the same course 
he takes one card only from the top and two from the 
bottom. Should the selected card be one of these three, 
he knows at once that it is the card he took from the 
top. Should the selected card be placed near the bottom 
the same procedure is followed, but instead of showing 
cards taken from the top of the pack, he begins to show 
from the bottom. If the selected card has been placed 
in the middle of the pack, the performer brings a num- 
ber of cards from top to bottom so that the selected 
card will be nearer the top, and proceeds as at first. 

There is another way of doing this trick. Some one 
is asked to draw seven or eight cards and to think of 
one. These cards are replaced on top of the pack, 
which is then shuffled without disturbing the drawn 
cards. Then the pack is placed behind the performer's 
back, and he takes four cards from the bottom and one 
from the top and throws them on the table faces up- 
ward. He asks if the card that was thought of is 
among them. If it proves to be, he knows it must be 
the one he took from the top of the pack. Should the 
selected card not be among them, he repeats the pro- 
ceeding just described until he reaches the card 
thought of. 

Method 2. The cards are shuffled and one is drawn. 
Taking the pack in his left hand the performer holds 
it at the bottom in an upright position between the 
thumb and first finger. The thumb is stretched across 
the back of the pack and the first finger across the 



front. The cards face toward the audience. With the 
second finger of the right hand the performer opens 
the pack about the middle, by drawing the upper part 
toward himself, as shown in the illustration. Fig. 48. 

Fig. 48 

This gives him an opportunity to see the bottom card 
of the upper part. The drawn card is placed in the 
opening thus formed. Then the cards are cut or shuf- 
fled, and it is simple enough to locate the card as it 
will be below the card that was at the bottom of the 
upper part. The cutting or shuffling of the pack will 
seldom, if ever, separate the two cards. 

Method 3. A card is selected from a previously shuf- 
fled pack. The pack is in the left hand and about 
half of it is lifted off with the right hand, which holds 
the pack between the thumb and second finger. The 
selected card is laid on top of the lower packet and 
the upper packet is placed above it with a little sliding 
motion toward the body. At the same time the thumb 


of the right hand slides the top card of the lower packet 
which is the selected card, a little out toward the wrist' 
where the performer may easily turn it upward with 
the thumb and catching a glimpse of the index, learn 
what the card is. 

_ Method 4. When the card has been drawn, the pack 
IS bent almost end to end, as in Fig. 49. When the 
card is replaced and the pack is shuffled, all the cards 
will be curved slightly except one which is, of course, 
the one that was drawn. Sometimes the pack is curved 
lengthwise, as in Fig. 50. In that ease when the se- 

Fig. 49 j^ig 50 

lected card is replaced and the cards are shuffled they 
may be sprung from hand to hand without disturbing 
the bridge and the selected card may be found in a 

Method 5. If done with care it is almost impossible to 
detect this trick. A faint line is drawn with ink or a 
pencil across the edges of the pack at B, as shown in 
the illustration, Fig. 51. To exhibit the trick the pack 
IS first thoroughly shuffled, and then one of the audi- 
ence is asked to draw a card. While he is looking at 
It, the performer turns the pack, so that the line which 
was near the bottom of the pack is now near the top 
When the drawn card is replaced, the performer need 
only look for the little mark that is on the edge to 



know the card. Shuffling the pack does not interfere 
with the accomplishment of the trick, provided of 
course, that the position of the cards are not changed. 
More than one card may be drawn when necessary. 
Of course, the mere telling of what card has been drawn 
does not amount to much as a trick, unless in combina- 
tion with something else. 

A Flying Card: 

A card is selected from an unprepared pack which 
has been thoroughly shuffled. When the card is re- 
turned the pack is again shuffled. The performer holds 
the pack in his right hand, and asks the name of the 
selected card. The answer is no sooner given when the 
card jumps out of the pack, and high in the air. 

Before the knack of this trick is acquired, there will 
be no little practice spent on it. When the selected 

Fig. 52 

card is returned to the pack, it is brought to the top 
by the "pass," and left there, even though the cards 
are once more shuffled. Then the performer places the 



pack, face down, on the right hand, the thumb on one 
side, the first and second fingers on the other. The se- 
lected card (which is on top) rests on the side where 
the fingers are, and its opposite edge, where the thumb 

Fig. 53 

is, is raised about a quarter of an inch, and held loosely 
by the thumb, as shown in Fig. 52. The muscles of 
the hand which must be kept tense, suddenly press the 
pack into the position shown in Fig. 53; the thumb 
slips between the top card and the others, while the 
first and second fingers glide along the bottom of the 
pack. Almost at the same moment the top card will 
spring out of the hand and go flying in the air, as 
shown in Fig. 54. In its descent it will be found 
possible to catch the card on the top of the pack, but 
that means more practice and plenty of it. 

A Greek Cross: 

A number of cards is dealt out in four or more (not 
less than four) heaps, faces upward. Each heap eon- 



tains four cards, and, for effect, they are arranged In 
the form of a Greek cross, as shown in Fig. 55. The 
performer turns his back to the table and requests some 
one to think of one of the cards. When this is done, 
the performer faces the table once more, and asks in 
which heap the card is lying. When he learns this he 
again turns his back to the table, and tells the one who 

5* ♦ 

______ ^ps; 



Fig. 55 

thought of the card to mix up the cards indiscrim- 
inately. Then the performer rearranges them in cruci- 
form heaps, and once more asks in which heap the card 
appears. Then he picks out the card at once. 

It is a very simple trick. The performer uses a pre- 
arranged pack (page 32) and when the heap containing 
the thought-of card is pointed out, he has only to 
glance at the top card of the cross to know the other 
three cards. As he turns his back immediately no one 
will imagine that he can memorize all four cards in 
the heap. When he arranges the heaps a second time, 
he is careful to have each card of the designated heap 



in a different heap, that is, one only in a heap. As 
soon as the heap is pointed out the second time it is a 
simple matter to pick out the one card that was in the 
original heap. 

A Selected Card Appears at Any Desired Number from 
the Top of the Pack: 

A card that has been drawn by one of the audience 
and replaced in the pack is brought by means of "the 
pass" next to the top card of the pack. The per- 
former asks at what number, counting from the top, the 
audience would like the selected card to appear. Let 
us suppose that number eight is decided on. Holding 
the pack in his left hand the performer shows that it is 
neither the bottom nor the top card. Taking the top 
card off the pack and holding it between the thumb and 
fingers of the right hand, face down, he counts "one." 
The second card (the selected one) follows immediately 
as "two," but instead of putting it on top of "one," 
which he holds in his right hand, he puts it under, his 
hands moving together slightly and quickly up and 
down, prevent the audience from seeing just whether 
the card goes on the top or the bottom of "one," and 
as the third card and all the other cards that follow 
go on top of "one," any suspicion that may be aroused 
is set at rest. When the eighth card is reached the 
performer throws it, face down, on the table. When 
the one who drew the card turns this up, he at once 
declares it is not the card he selected. While the at- 
tention of the audience is fixed on the card, the per- 
former brings his hands together for a moment. The 
cards in the left hand lie flat, while the others are held 


lengthways above them between the thumb and the first 
and second fingers at the ends, so that the pack assumes 
somewhat, the position of a half-opened book, as shown 
m the Illustration, Fig. 56. With the fingers of his 

Fig. 56 

left hand the performer slips the bottom card of the 
packet held by his right hand (the selected card) on 
top of the cards in the left hand. By pressing lightly 
on this card while the right hand keeps the rest of the 
pile in the one position, the selected card will appear 
face upward on the left hand heap. The performer 
immediately places the cards in his right hand on top 
of It, face down, of course. It is the work of a moment 
only, and the audience ought not to notice it. Picking 
up the card that is lying on this table, the performer 
places It on the pack, which he hands to the person who 
selected the card, telling him that though in spite of the 
evidence of his senses, his card is not the eighth from the 
top. It will by the magic power of the performer be 
brought there. Taking the pack in his hands and ruf- 
fling it, he hands it back to the man with the request that 
he count off eight cards. The request is complied with, 


and much to the astonishment of the gentleman he will 
find, when he reaches the desired number, the selected 
card staring him in the face. 

A Card Apparently Placed at the Bottom of the Paek, 
Appears at the Top : 

The performer takes two cards from the pack, and 
holding them tightly together they appear like one. 
(See "The Single Change," page 19.) Holding 
them up, he calls attention to the bottom card, calling 
it by name. He then places the two cards in the middle 
of the pack, which is in the left hand, allowing them to 
protrude about an inch. The two cards are held be- 
tween the thumb and first finger of the right hand. 
These fingers draw the top card of the two slightly 
forward, while, at the same time, the forefinger of the 
left hand, which is under the pack, pushes the bottom 
card, which is the known card, back into the pack. By 
keeping the cards slightly tilted downward at the front 
and the left thumb extended alongside of the pack, the 
card will slide between the thumb and second finger of 
the left hand, without showing itself. Now the cards 
below the protruding card, which the audience suppose 
to be the card that was shown to them, are placed on 
top of the pack, the protruding card being thus brought 
to the bottom. In this position, the pack is placed on 
the bottom of an upturned goblet. Then the bottom 
card is pushed slowly home. "Where is the card 
now?" asks the performer. Of course every one de- 
clares it is at the bottom, but much to the surprise of 
all it is found to be not at the bottom, but at the top. 


A Question of Sympathy: 

When the pack has been shuffled and returned to the 
performer, one of the audience draws a card and re- 
places it in the pack. The pack is again shufSed and 
the person who drew the card is asked to think of 
another card. When he has done this he is further 
requested to draw a card from the bottom of the pack, 
which the performer holds in his left hand, and to lay 
It, face upward on the table. This he continues to do 
until he draws the card he thought. "Now, my dear 
sir," says the performer, "by some mysterious and in- 
explicable bond of sympathy the next card you draw 
will be the one you first selected." And so it proves to 
be. The explanation is simple: The card that was 
drawn was at once passed to the bottom of the pack, 
where it was left undisturbed when the pack was shuf- 

When the one who drew it is about to take the cards 
one by one from the bottom of the pack in his search 
for the card he thought of, the performer draws back 
the bottom card toward his wrist, in the manner already 
explained in the description of "The Slide," on page 
30. The result is that the card next to the hotiom one 
is drawn each time by the one who is searching for the 
thought-of card until the time is reached when the bot- 
tom card is wanted. Then the performer moves it into 

The Card in the Pocketbook: 

A card is freely selected from a thoroughly shuffled 
pack and marked. It is shuffled back into the pack 
around which is placed a rubber band. The pack is 



then returned to the person who drew the card, with 
the request that he hold it. The performer now takes 
from his breast pocket a large letter case or pocketbook, 
which is securely tied with a string. He cuts the string 
and takes out a sealed envelope from the book. Tear- 
ing off one end of the envelope he asks the one who 
drew the card to put his fingers into it and take out 
the contents. When the request is complied with the 
marked card is brought out. On examining the pack 
it is found that the card has left it. 

The successful performance of this trick depends, in 
part, on the skilful palming of the bottom card of the 
pack, a sleight which is described on page 15. The 
peculiar arrangement of the pocketbook and the en- 
velope are also essential features of the trick. Any 
letter case or pocketbook may be used, provided it ia 
the proper length, which is about four by six inches. 
In It is placed a sealed envelope, which has one end 
neatly slit with a sharp knife, at the part AA, shown 
in Fig. 57. Into this open end is inserted two strips 

Fig. 57 Pig. 58 

of rather stiff paper, each an inch and a half wide and 
four inches long; two inches of each going inside and 
the other two inches remaining outside. The outside 



ends are slightly curled outwardly or, better still, each 
IS folded over the side of the book. The book is then 
securely, but not too tightly, tied around, twice each 
way, with a string. This cord must be separated at 
the open end far enough to admit of the card being 
slipped into the envelope. (See Fig. 58.) The pocket- 
book is kept in the right breast pocket of the coat. 
When the drawn card is to be replaced in the pack, 

the performer has it put about the middle and making 
the "pass" brings it to the bottom. This move he 
follows with a false shuffle, which leaves the card un- 
disturbed. Taking the pack in his left hand, the 
thumb on top and the fingers below, the performer takes 
from his vest pocket with his right hand a rubber band, 
and stretching it over his thumb and the first two 
fingers, slips it over the pack. At the same moment 
the fingers of the left hand close up and palm the bot- 
tom card, as shown in Fig. 59. The palming of the 
card and the affixing of the rubber band being made 
simultaneously, conceal the stealing of the card. The 
performer now takes the pack in his right hand, while 
his left hand goes into the breast pocket, and slipping 


the card between the strips of paper, pushes it down 
mto the envelope. The strips of paper are then pulled 
out and left in the pocket, and the cord is properly 
adjusted. The poeketbook is now brought out- the 
pack IS handed to the person who drew the card and he 
IS told to find the card, but fails in his quest. The 
performer then removes the string from the poeketbook, 
tears off the open end of the envelope, and requests the 
one who drew the card to take it out of the envelope 
and identify it. 

The Disappearing ftueen: 

A pack of cards is shuffled and afterwards all the spot 
cards are taken out and laid on the bottom of an in- 
verted glass or tumbler, which is then covered with a 

Picking up the court cards, the performer shows the 
bottom card to one of the audience, whom he asks to 
take the card and place it in an envelope, which the 
performer hands to him. 

Then the bottom card is shown to a second person 
who, m turn, is asked to take it from the pack and 
place It m another envelope, as in the first case. And 
so the performer continues, showing the bottom card 
and having it placed in an envelope, until all the court 
cards are disposed of. 

Returning to his table, the performer requests them 
to call out simultaneously, when he shall say, three 
the name of the card placed in the envelope "Now' 
then,'^ he says, "one, two, three," and with one voice 
there is a cry, "The Queen of Hearts." "What every 
one the Queen of Hearts? Impossible!" says the per- 



former. "Why think for a moment. There's only one 
Queen of Hearts in the pack, and here it is," he says, 
and taking the handkerchief off the cards that are on 
the tumbler, he picks up the top card, and shows that 
it is the Queen of Hearts. The audience are now asked 
to open their envelopes, and, to their surprise, each one 
finds an entirely different court card. 

For this trick are needed a pack of cards, a tumbler, 
a handkerchief, a pack of envelopes, and a half Queen 
of Hearts of another pack, as shown in the illustration 
Fig. 60. 


rig. 61 

"When the cards have been shuffled and the spot cards 
are removed, including the Queen of Hearts, which the 
performer places on top of the others, he runs the 
cards over before the audience, so that they may see 
all are spot cards, taking care not to let the Queen of 
Hearts be seen. The packet of spot cards he lays 
on top of the tumbler, and covers it with a handker- 
chief. Picking up the court cards, the performer se- 
cretly places the half-Queen at the bottom of the pack. 
Taking the pack in his right hand, he covers the lower 
part of it, the forefinger covering the lower edge of the 
half-card, as shown in Fig. 61. Then going to one of 



the audience, he asks him to remember the bottom card, 
and then to remove it and place it face down in an 
envelope. At this, the critical moment of the trick, the 
performer lowers the pack and places it, face down- 
ward, in his left hand, the thumb near the top edge, 
the fingers beneath. With his right hand he grasps the 
pack, his thumb at the end toward the body, the fingers at 
the opposite end. Without changing the position of the 
left hand, which grasps the half-card, the right hand 
moves the pack forward a trifle. The result will be 
that the top edge of the half-Queen will be about the 
middle of the bottom card and be covered by the left 
forefinger. When the right hand is withdrawn the man 
who is assisting will take the bottom card, which he 
believes to be the Queen of Hearts, and place it in 
the envelope. Again the performer places his right 
hand on the pack, while the left hand moves the half- 
card to the front once more. The same procedure is 
repeated until all the stock of court cards is exhausted. 
With the last card care must be taken to press the half- 
card well against it and to palm the half-card neatly. 

The persons who assist in this trick should sit well 
apart, and the cards should be held close to their faces, 
so that they may not be seen by those who draw them or 
by others. Of course each one imagines he has the Queen 
of Hearts in his envelope, and there is no little surprise 
when that card is found on top of the inverted tumbler, 
and a different one in the envelope. 

The Changing Card: 

A card is selected by one of the audience and when 
replaced is put in the middle of the pack. Placing the 



little finger of his left hand under this card the per- 
former makes the "pass," and brings it to the bottom 
of the pack, which is then shuffled, but the selected 
card is kept at the bottom. The pack, backs upward, 
is held in the left hand, which is kept flat, the thumb 
at one side, the fingers at the other. Then, with the 
thumb and second finger of the right hand the pack, 
with the exception of the bottom card, is shoved for- 
ward slightly so that this card protrudes about an inch 
at the lower end as shown in Fig. 62. The front of the 

pack is lifted a trifle, the better to conceal this. The 
selected card is then ordered to pass to the top of the 
pack, and the performer, taking off the top card, shows 
it and asks whether that is the one that was drawn. 
The answer, of course, is "No." " Then, ' ' he continues, 
"it may, possibly, have traveled to the bottom," and 
he shows the bottom card. In showing it he takes hold 
of the end of the pack with the right hand and turns it 
over completely, as shown in Fig. 63, so that the faces 


of the cards are upward. The pack remains in the left 
hand. When he shows the visible card, which is sup- 
posed to be the one that was originally at the bottom, that, 
also, is declared not to be the selected card. It will be 
apparent to our readers, who by this time must have 
fairly good ideas of how some tricks are done, that the 
real bottom card which protruded from the lower end of 
the pack, was not turned over with the other cards, 
and is now back to back with the rest of the pack! 
The performer turns the pack to its original position, 

being careful, however, to keep it upright as the selected 
card which is now on top, face upward, must be con- 
cealed. Picking up the top card again he asks the 
person who drew the card whether he is certain that 
the card shown is not his. Of course the answer will 
again be that it is not. Instead of one card, however 
the performer picked up two, holding them as one as 
described on page 20. Laying down the pack, he takes 
the two cards for a moment between the thumb and 



forefinger of the left hand at the upper left hand corner 
so as to allow his right hand to shift its position by 
taking the cards between the thumb and second finger, 
as shown in Fig. 64. 

Now, when it is asserted that the card shown is not 
the selected one, he says he knows no other way out of 
the difficulty except by changing the card. "What was 
your card, sir?" he asks, and being told, he bids the 
card to change. His command is obeyed instantly, the 
card between his fingers being now the one that was 
drawn. This change is brought about in this way: 
"While the two cards are held by their edges the tip of 
the forefinger presses against the center of the hinder 
card. By bringing the thumb and second finger to- 
gether the cards are curved outwardly at the center 
and at last the second finger releases its hold and 
the thumb and forefinger clip the cards between them. 
This will cause the cards to make a semi-revolution, 
bringing the card that was at the rear to face the 
audience, as shown in Fig 65. The left hand takes the 
cards away from the right to square them up in ease 
they should not cover each other perfectly. 

A Wonderful Change: 

A court card is prepared by punching in the middle 
a hole about the size of a large pin head. This card is 
placed on top of the pack. A card is taken from the 
pack at random by one of the audience, who marks it. 
In the meanwhile, the performer brings the prepared 
card to the middle of the pack, by means of the "pass," 
and it is on top of this that he has the drawn card 
laid, when it is returned to the pack. Then he makes 



the "pass" again, and brings both cards to the top. 
These he palms and hands out the pack to be shuffled. 
When the pack is returned to the performer he ruffles 
the pack, and annoujtices that by his power he has 
brought the drawn card to the top. In the meantime 
he has laid the palmed cards on the top. Picking up 
the two top cards he holds them close together, bending 
them slightly by the pressure of thumb and fingers, so 
that they look like one. "Here is the card that was 
drawn," he says. This will be denied, of course, by 
the one who selected it. As the front card is a court 
card the hole will not be visible. Lying on the per- 
former's table is a fine needle threaded with about two 
feet of sewing silk on one end of which is a knot. This 
knot, however, must be of a size that will pass through 
the hole in the court card. Running the needle through 
the hole, the performer draws the thread till the knot 
rests against the selected card. Taking a handkerchief 
he passes the needle through it and then spreads it 
over the pack, which is scattered somewhat over the 
table. It is clear that if the thread is pulled up, the 
handkerchief will be raised, bringing with it the se- 
lected card attached to the thread and leaving the court 
card on the pack, to the surprise of the audience. Still 
keeping card, handkerchief, and thread together the 
performer carries them to the one who drew the card, 
for identification by the mark. 

With a String — a Eeminiscence : 

It was about the year 1845 that one of the editors 
of this book learned his first conjuring trick. At that 
time Alexander Heimburger, a foreign conjurer, came 


to New York. Under his stage name of Herr Alex, 
ander he appeared at the Minerva Booms, a cozy hall 
that stood on Broadway between Walker and Canal 
streets. His manager was a personal friend of this 
writer's family and the writer, then a little boy, had 
not only the run of the house, but became intimate with 
Alexander. One afternoon while the conjurer was ar- 
rangmg something for the evening's performance the 
boy came into the hall and, boylike, began to ask ques- 
tions, and then the conjurer, in turn, asked some. One 
of these was, "Which of my tricks do you like best?" 

The one where the card comes up out of the pack," 
was the answer. "Good. And how is it done?" 
"With a string." "Ah, that is the boy's answer. It's 
always with a string. But how; but how?" "Don't 
know, but it's with a string." And with a string, that 
faithful ally of the conjurer, that potent motive power 
of so many tricks, it proved to be. Then and there the 
conjurer, who had taken a liking to the boy, explained 
the trick. The secret is known to many now, and as 
Alexander Heimburger, dexterous conjurer and genial 
gentleman, has passed away, the little boy, now an old 
man, will explain the trick for those who do not know 
It, and moreover will tell many other ways of doing 
It that have been invented since that day, years and 
years ago. 

The Obedient Cards: 

In its original form the trick presupposes a certain 
amount of skill in handling cards, for the reason that 
the performer forces certain cards on the audience. 
There is, however, an easier way, by use of what is 


known as a ^'forcing pack." This is a pack made up 
o±, say, only four diiferent cards, as, for example, the 
Kmg or the Jack of clubs, trey of hearts, the eight of 
spades and the deuce of diamonds, each being repeated 
en or twelve t.mes All of one kind are kepj together 
and when one lot is placed on another, the Queens at 
the bottom, It makes a respectable looking pack 

With such a pack, a decanter nearly full of water a 

houlette) to hold easily, say, forty cards without bind- 

Z d'fi?^'' ^ '""^ ^ Wack silk 

thread, the performer is almost ready to begin his trick 

Tig. 66 

The Houlette. ' 

We say almost ready, for there is still one more matter 
a most important one, to be attended to. This is the 
threading of the cards. For this, besides the forced 
cards, SIX other indifferent ones, which we will call a 
i, c d,e and /, are used. The first card, a, should be' 
preferably, the King or Jack of clubs. In this a slit 
about a quarter of an inch in length is cut in the center 
of the lower edge, and in the slit is inserted one end 
of the thread, on which there is a large knot to prevent 
the thread from pulling through. From the bottom the 
thread is carried up back of the card, and h, c, d, e, and 



/ are placed back of a. Over the tops of these five 
cards, as near the center as possible, the thread is laid. 
Taking, say, the trey of hearts, the performer presses 
it down between 6 and c, the thread going with it ; then 
the eight of spades is pressed down between c and d 
and the deuce of diamonds between d and e, the thread 
being carried down in each ease. When this is done 
the bottom of each of the forced cards rests on the 
thread, and, as will be readily understood, a gentle pull 
will cause these cards to come up from the pack, one 
after another, the trey of hearts the third, and the King 
of clubs, the card with the knot in it, the last. 

The cards thus arranged are laid face down on the 
performer's table, the loose end of the thread being 
passed through a small staple or a screw-eye (which is 
entirely closed, so that the thread may not slip 
through) at the back of the table, and thence off to a 
concealed assistant who is to pull it when the time comes. 
In front of these cards lying on one side is the houlette. 
Everything being ready, the performer may begin his 
trick. Taking his forcing pack he goes to a lady whom 
he requests to draw a card. Remember, there are only 
four different cards — the ten top cards are all deuce 
of diamonds; the second lot of ten cards are all eight 
of spades; the third lot, all the trey of hearts, and the 
bottom lot the King of clubs. As the lady is about to 
draw a card the performer runs off the top cards and 
she naturally takes an eight of spades. As he goes to 
another lady he passes the top cards to the bottom of 
the pack, and running over the deuce of diamonds forces 
one of those, and so on with the trey of hearts and the 
King of clubs. In order to know when the last card 



of one kind is reached some performers have the card 
marked, say, by clipping off a small piece of the lower 
right-hand corner. When the four cards are drawn 
and returned to the pack, the performer steps to his 
table, ostensibly to get the houlette and the decanter, so 
they may be examined by the audience. As he reaches 
the table he places the pack of cards upon the threaded 
cards which are lying behind the houlette, taking care 
to keep the thread free. When the decanter and hou- 
lette are examined the performer places them on the 
table, the houlette being fixed in the decanter. Then 
the cards are taken up, placed in their case, and the 
trick proper begins. 

Addressing the lady who drew the deuce of diamonds, 
he asks the name of her card and requests her to bid it 
rise. The concealed assistant, holding in his left hand 
the thread, gently taps it with the side of his right 
hand; the card obeys at once, and when it is almost 
entirely out of the pack the performer lifts it out, and 
takes it to the one who drew it. The second card, the 
eight of spades, is treated in the same way, and then 
comes the trey of hearts, and flinally, the King of clubs. 
When this card is ordered to come up it does not obey. 

"That's very strange," says the performer. "Are 
you sure, Madam, that you drew the King?" 
"Very sure," answers the lady. 
"Please repeat your demand. Madam." 
Again she orders the King to come up, but all to no 

The performer shows that he is perplexed. Suddenly 
his face lights up. 

"Ah, I see," he says. "Probably w^e ought to be 



more ceremonious in addressing a King. Let us try it. " 

Turning to the cards, and bowing politely, he says: 
"Will Your Majesty graciously condescend to honor us 
with your presence?" 

Scarcely is the request made when the card rises from 
the pack and jumps out. 

By adding a duplicate of any one of the cards and 
threading it so that it will rise just before the card it 
represents and with its back toward the audience, the 
performer may create the impression that the card 
turns over in the pack. 

Where it is not practicable to have an assistant to pull 
the thread, the performer can gain the same effects by 
iastenmg the loose end of the thread to the back of the 
table. In this case he will have to hold the decanter 
m one hand (See Fig. 67), and by carefully moving it 

Fig. 67 

forward the least bit he can cause the cards to come up 
without exciting any suspicion. 

A few years ago, a clever conjurer who, like young 


Loehinvar, came "out of the West," claimed to have 
puzzled an old and accomplished performer with 
another version of the trick. He did not force his 
cards but he had an entire pack prepared as follows: 
On the back of each card near the top and at the center 
was glued a bit of cardboard about half an inch square. 
It was glued only at the top of one edge and formed 
a sort of flap This pack was held by an assistant at 
the back of the stage. When the performer began his 
trick he requested the audience to call out the names 
of the cards with which he should do the trick The 
assistant who heard the names, immediately selected 
those cards and arranging them in the order called for 
quietly laid them on a table on the stage, from which 
the performer picked them up and placed them at the 
back of his pack. 

Stretched across the stage at about six feet or more 
above the floor was a fine black silk thread One end 
was fastened to a hook in the scenery frame, the other 
end passed through a screw-eye in the scenery frame on 
the opposite side of the stage. On this loose end were 
fastened two or three cards to act as counter-weights 

Standing under the thread and about a step back 'of 
It and holding the pack in his left hand, the performer 
raised his right hand above his head as if to show there 
was no thread used and in doing so pressed down the 
thread and passed it under the loose part of the card- 
board on the last card. He held on to the other cards 
tightly Then with his open right hand about two feet 
above the pack, he called the card by name and bade it 
ascend. Loosing his grip of the pack, the prepared 
card, propelled by the weights on the threadl sprung 



at onee into the outstretched hand. In this way all the 
chosen cards were made to ascend. (See Fig. 68.) 

A second American performer having seen the trick 
thought out another way of doing it,— and a better 
way, because it may be done anywhere, as well as on 
the stage. Here is his method. (See Fig. 69) : 

The performer procured a long brown hair, from a 
woman's head, and tied one end of it firmly to a black- 
headed pin. On the other end he stuck a bit of wax. 
So that^ the hair might not pull out of the wax he 
cut a piece of thin cardboard about one eighth of an 
inch square. Through this a slit was made about two 
thirds of the way across. A knot was made in the loose 
end of the hair which was slipped into the slit and 
pulled through tiU the knot caught fast; the hair was 

Fig. 68 

Fig. 69 


then wound through the slit and around the card two 
or three times which finally was trimmed as small as pos- 
sible and imbedded in the wax of which only a tiny 
piece IS needed. When the performer was to do the 
trick he secretly fastened the black pin under the lapel of 
his coat on the right side, brought the hair down to his hip 
at which point in his coat he had stuck a second black- 
headed pm, passed the hair round the head of the pin 
and stuck the waxed end on the bottom button of the 
coat. With the hair fixed in this manner there is little 
danger of it getting in the way, and the performer 
might wear it all the evening. 

For this form of the trick any cards may be taken, 
they need not be forced. We should advise not more 
than three be used. As the performer gets them back 
he has them placed in the center of the pack, and one 
on top of the other, without it being noticed. To do 
this easily, he merely slips the little finger of the left 
hand, in which the pack is held, in the place he opens 
the pacK. When all are gathered he deliberately cuts 
the pack, and so brings the selected cards to the top 
The performer's next move is to pull out the pin at his 
hip, which wiU allow the hair to swing loose; remove 
the waxed end from his coat button, which he may do 
with his thumbnail, and stick it on the point of his 
thumb. As he takes the pack from the left hand to 
stand It upright in that hand he presses the wax on the 
back of the top card near the top and the center Then 
holding the pack upright in his left hand, the right is 
waved to and fro, under and over, around and about 
to show that the cards are not connected'with anything' 
and while making these motions he gets his thumb 



under the hair. Then by raising the right hand slightly 
and lowering the left, the back card will shoot up into 
the right hand which goes down to meet it. The second 
and third cards are treated in the same way. 

Sometimes a mechanical pack is used to make the 
cards rise. In this form a number of cards are glued 
solidly together and afterward are cut away, with the 
exception of the first and last cards, so as to leave noth- 
ing but a framework and make a box into which the 
necessary mechanism is introduced. This consists of 
a watch movement somewhat similar to that in a musical 

Fig. 70 
The Mechanical Pack. 

box. This movement sets in motion two small toothed 
wheels of steel or rubber, which protrude through slots 
cut through the front card, about an inch and a ouarter 
apart and about half an inch from the top, as shown in 
Fig. 70. A tiny projecting pin at the top of this box, 
sets the movement going or stops it. It is not worth 
while to go into detail about the mechanism of this 
box-pack for it is not always reliable. It is an old 
arrangement, though claimed by a modern conjurer, but 
has never been popular. 

Kecently another mechanical pack has been made that 
dispenses with the aid of an assistant. This consists of 



a tiny spindle around the center of which is wound a 
fine silk thread, one end fastened to the spindle, the 
other to the back of the table on which the goblet rests 
and holds the cards. At each end of the spindle is a 
small wheel covered with a little rubber band. The 
mechanism is simple and seems to be practicable. The 
spindle rests in a metal frame that fits over the edge 
of the goblet. With this, as with the other mechanical 
device, the cards are not forced. 

Besides these, a glass tumbler is made, as shown in 
Fig. 71. In one part of this a narrow slot is cut, run- 

Fig. 71 

ning from the bottom of the glass to within an inch of 
the top. Through this slot the performer, holding the 
glass in his right hand, sticks his forefinger, and pushes 
up, one by one, the cards that were drawn by the audi- 
ence. The cards are not forced, but as they are re- 



placed in the pack are brought to the back by the 

There are other ways of doing this popular trick, all 
more or less ingenious, but we shall omit mention of 
them and describe a method that has stood the test of 
years in the hands of one of our editors, who has ex- 
hibited it without failure under most trying circum- 
stances, with the audience on every side of him. The 
main requisite is a piece of the finest sewing silk, that 
known as 000, about eighteen inches long. At one end 
is a bit of conjurer's wax (see Appendix), and at the 
other is a piece of blackened match. The latter is run 
through the lowest buttonhole of the performer's vest; 
the wax is stuck inside of the opening of his shirt front. 
These three articles with a large goblet, a many-colored 
Japanese folding fan, and his wand under his right 
arm, constitute all the "properties." Three cards are 
freely drawn by the audience, and as they are replaced 
in the pack are brought to the back by means of the 
"pass" and false shuffle. If so inclined, the performer 
may palm these and allow the pack to be shuffled by 
the audience, replacing the cards at the back before 
proceeding with his trick. Now mark the exact routine 
of the movements: Going to his table, the performer 
places the pack in the goblet with his left hand. At 
the same time he removes the wax from his shirt front 
with his right hand and secures it with his thumbnail. 
"Ah!" he says, "I have neglected to show you this 
glass. Please examine it and satisfy yourselves that 
it is not prepared in any way." As he says this he 
takes out the pack with his right hand and sticks the 
wax on the back card, near the top edge. The left 



hand picks up the goblet and when it has been examined 
replaces it on the table. Then the left hand takes the 
pack from the right and puts it reversed into the goblet, 
thus bringing the wax to the lower end of the card, 
"Pray," says the performer, addressing the person 
who drew the last card, as the wax is attached to that, 
"what is the name of your card?" When he is told 
this he makes a few mesmeric passes over the goblet, 
and picking up the fan with the right hand opens it 
and slowly fans the right side of the goblet. As he 
does this his body bends naturally, pulling the thread 
taut, and the card slowly rises from the pack. Laying 
down the fan, he takes the card from the goblet with 
his left hand ; at almost the same moment the right hand 
takes hold of the card at the bottom, as if to show it bet- 
ter and in doing so removes the wax with the thumbnail 
and sticks it on his wand, which, as will be remembered 
is under his right arm. At the same time the left hand 
puts the card back in the pack. Then the cards are 
taken from the goblet and sprung from hand to hand, to 
satisfy the audience that they are not connected with 
any contrivance to make them rise. The cards are held 
up with the left hand, while the right rests naturally on 
the wand, secures the wax with the thumbnail and sticks 
it on the back card. The left shows the glass and the 
trick proceeds, following the same routine as described 
for the first card. "When the last card has risen from the 
glass the wax is replaced on the shirt front. The vari- 
colored fan screens very effectually the presence of the 
thread from those of the audience who may be at the 
side. It will be found to be an advantage if the goblet 
is placed on a slight elevation, say, on a box or some 



books. Some performers stick the wax on the top button 
of the vest, but the thread is apt to curl and tangle. 

The Rising Cards in a Case: 

Several cards are drawn from the pack by the audi- 
ence. They are returned, the pack is shuffled, and 
placed m an ordinary paper or pasteboard case, such 
as cards now usually come in. This the performer then 
holds up, and as the cards are called for, they rise one 
at a time. ' 

The case, which is the ordinary affair, ha^ a slit cut 
in Its face, lengthwise, as shown in Pig 72 This is 
imperceptible, for it is merely a slit made with a sharp 
knife, not a slot. At the lower end of it is a tiny hole 
At Figs. 72a and 72b is shown a little concave disc of 
metal; on the convex side of this is soldered a needle 
point, so that it somewhat resembles a small drawing 
pm. The concave side is filled with adhesive wax and 
the whole disc is painted a flesh color. This is stuck 
on the tip of the forefinger. 



When the drawn cards are replaced in the pack, they 
are brought to the top, by means of the "pass" and the 
pack is placed in the case with the top cards next to 
that part of the case in which is the slit. The flap 
of the case is turned back or upward, so that it will be 
out of the way. 

Holding the ease with the thumb on one side, the 
forefinger at the back and the other fingers at the other 
side, the cards are raised, as called for, by the pin point 
which enters the slit, the little hole at the end making 
the entrance easy. 

The Rising Cards, as Exhibited by Buatier de Kolta: 

Four cards are prepared as shown in Fig. 73. A is 
a double card, that is, two cards pasted together, back 

Fig. 74 

to face, so as to secure a piece of fine black silk thread 
between them. The loose end of this thread comes out 
at the back of the back card A through a tiny hole 
punched in the exact center of this card at about an 
eighth of an inch from the upper edge. A similar hole 
IS punched through B, C, and D. At the bottom of 
each of three other cards is cut a little notch, as shown 
m Fig. 74. These cards are placed between A and 
B, B and C, and C and D, one between each pair. 



the notched part resting on the thread, which is slack- 
ened so as to come under the cards. These are the 
rising cards, and cards corresponding to them in suits 
and spots are forced on the audience. When the 
cards are in place the remaining part of the thread 
ought still to be about a yard long. This part is curled 
up on the back of D, and the free end is fastened se- 
curely to the card E by pasting over it a piece of court 
plaster. When everything is prepared, the cards are 
gathered together and secured by passing a light rubber 
band over them. 

When about to exhibit the trick the packet of pre- 
pared cards is placed in the performer's pocket or 
under the front of his vest. Then duplicates of the ris- 
ing cards are forced on the audience, and when replaced, 
the pack is given out to be shuffled. In the meanwhile 
the performer palms the prepared packet, which he 
places on top of the pack when it is returned to him. 
Then he announces that in order to keep all secure he 
will place a rubber band round the pack. He goes 
through the motions of taking one out of his vest pocket, 
but really takes out nothing, but slips the band that 
holds the prepared packet around the whole pack. 

As the little holes and notches in the cards perfectly 
conceal the thread, the performer may safely hand the 
pack to some one— preferably a lady— to hold for a 
moment, while he goes to his table for a goblet. 

When the goblet has been examined the person who 
holds the cards is requested to drop them into the glass, 
which the performer then stands on his table. Then 
he asks the name of the first card that was drawn, and 
announces that he will try to blow it out of the pack. 



He removes the rubber band from the cards and taking 
out the last card in the pack, which is E, he rolls it into 
a tube. This he puts to his mouth and blowing in the 
direction of the goblet, while he draws back the thread 
a little bit, the first named card slowly rises from the 
pack. In like manner the other two cards rise. As 
each card comes out the thread naturally increases in 
length, so the performer must imperceptibly draw fur- 
ther back. 

After the pack is shuffled, it will be well for the 
performer to note whether one of the selected cards is 
at the bottom, and should it be, he must, for very obvious 
reasons, slip it out of the way. 

One More Version of the Eising Cards: 

The performer shows a Japanese fan, of the kind 
shaped like the bamboo fan, but covered with variegated 
paper, and a skeleton ease for holding a pack of cards 
with a loop of cord at its rear top corners. Cards are 
freely selected and returned to the pack; this is placed 
m the card case, and that is hung on the face of the 
tan, the loop resting on two little slots or nicks in the 
top of the fan. The performer holds the fan in his 
hand, and, at command, the chosen cards rise from the 
pack and return again. 

The card case is without preparation, the mechanism 
of the trick lying in the fan, (Fig. 75) which is double 
and fastened around the edges. The handle is hollow 
Between the two surfaces of the fan is a sort of lazy- 
tongs riveted at A, Fig. 76, to the fan, and pivoted to the 
top ot this IS a watch spring, working between two little 
staples or bands, BB, Fig. 76, made fast to the fan. At- 



tached to the lower long arm of the lazytongs is a short 
piece of cord that runs over a tiny pulley, and is fastened 
to a spring rod working in the hollow handle of the 
fan. A small stud, attached to this rod, projects through 
a slot in the handle. A slight movement of the stud 
raises or lowers the watch spring by opening or closing 

Fig. 76 
The Lazy Tongs. 

the lazytongs. The end of the watch spring which in- 
clines forward has two sharp points that go through 
openings in the fan, and pressing against the back card 
m the pack, pushes it up or down at the will of the per- 
former. The selected cards are, of course, all at the 
back of the pack. The lazytongs will move up about 
four inches to every quarter of an inch movement of the 

The Seven Heap : 

The four sevens are sorted out of a pack and placed 
m a heap on the table. Then seven indifferent cards 



are placed in a second heap alongside the first, and some 
one is asked to come forward and assist the performer. 

Looking the man earnestly in the eyes for a moment, 
the conjurer writes on a slip of paper: "You wiU 
select the seven heap." This is folded and handed to 
the ■ assistant with the request that he put it in his 
pocket. He is then asked to select one of the heaps of 
cards. When this is done he is requested to read what 
is written on the paper. "When he has done so, he is 
told to turn over the heap. No matter which heap is 
selected the prediction is verified. Should it be the 
heap with the four sevens, the conjurer turns over the 
other heap with the remark, "You see these are all dif- 
ferent cards." On the other hand should the heap of 
seven cards be selected, the performer merely counts 
them out one by one, without showing the faces of the 
other heap, merely spreading the cards apart to prove 
that there are only four cards there. 

The Sympathetic Kings and ftueens: 

The performer hands out an ordinary pack of cards 
with the request that some one will pick out the kings 
and queens and lay them, faces upward. When this is 
done the performer arranges them in four pairs, a king 
and queen in each. These pairs are now arranged one 
over another in one packet, which is laid, faces down 
this time, on the table. Several persons are asked to 
cut the cards (not to shuffle them, remember), so as, 
apparently, to disarrange their order. Declaring that 
his sense of touch is so delicate that without seeing the 
cards he can separate the kings from the queens, the 
performer puts the packet behind his back, and, almost 



immediately bringing his hands in front shows that in 
one hand he has the kings and in the other, the queens, 
which he throws on the table. 

"Now," says this wonderful man, "by this same 
acute sense of touch I shall reunite the separated pairs." 

Picking up the kings he places the queens on top of 
them, or vice versa. This packet he lays on the table, 
as in the first instance, faces downward, and again has 
them cut by different persons, until kings and queens 
seem to be hopelessly mixed. Once more putting hia 
hands at his back, he produces the cards two at a time, 
laying each pair, faces downward on the table, and 
when, at his request, they are turned up, it is found 
that each king has the queen of his suit for a companion. 

And now for the secret of this marvel : When, in the 
first part of the trick, he puts the cards behind his 
back, he takes in one hand the first, third, fifth, and 
seventh cards, counting from either the top or the bot- 
tom, and in the other the second, fourth, sixth, and 
eighth cards. When they are brought to the front all 
of one kind will be found in one hand, and all of the 
other in the other hand. 

When the performer picks them up again for the 
second part of the trick he apparently takes them at 
random. In fact, however, he takes them in the old 
SHow CoDe order, the kings first and on top of them 
the queens. When, with their faces downward, he has 
them cut several times, and has put the packet behind 
him, he divides it in two equal parts. Then he takes 
the top or bottom card of each part and lays these two 
cards, faces down, on the table. This he repeats until 
four pairs are on the table, and when they are turned 



up they will be found in proper order, each, king with 
a queen of his own suit. 

Should the performer be proficient in making a false 
shuffle he may introduce it with good effect in the course 
of the trick. 

Correcting a Mistake: 

The pack is handed out to be shuffled and some one 
is asked to select a card and without looking at it to 
lay it on the table, face down, and place something on 
it. A second person is then asked to select three cards, 
at random, and without looking at them to place them 
also on the table. 

Now the performer declares that by virtue of a cer- 
tain hypnotic power he possesses, he has caused the two 
persons to select four cards of the same value. To 
prove the truth of this the three cards last chosen are 
turned over and are found to be of the same spot value, 
but when the first card is turned up, it proves to be, 
to the great humiliation of the performer, of an entirely 
different value. "Ah," cries the embarrassed conjurer, 
"I remember now, that the moon is in a different quar- 
ter from what I thought it to be. However, that can 
be remedied, and I shall yet do what I set out to do. 
Please turn the three cards down once more. I shall 
now simply wave my hands over the cards and mentally 
repeat the mystic formula. Be good enough to turn 
the cards face up again. I knew I could do it!" To 
the surprise of the audience, the cards are seen to be 
of the same value as that of the card first chosen. 

Clever as this trick is, it is very simple. At the start 
the pack is arranged with an ace on top; immediately 



Tinder it are three queens, and under these are the 
other three aces. To begin, the performer makes the 
"pass," so as to bring the top cards to about the middle 
of the pack, and forces the first ace. Again making 
the "pass" he brings the pack again to its original 
arrangement. The ace is laid on the table and covered 
with something. On his way to the second person the 
conjurer palms at least six cards from the top of the 
pack. The second person now draws three cards, with- 
out looking at them, and places them on top of the 
pack. When the pack is returned to the performer he 
lays the palmed cards secretly on top of the pack. A 
third person is now requested to take the pack and lay 
the three top cards, supposed to be those that were se- 
lected, faces downward, in a row on the table. Care- 
lessly taking the pack in his left hand the performer 
picks up with his right one of the three cards, 
turns it over, and shows that it is a queen. Then he 
asks some one to turn over a second card, and that also 
proves to be a queen. While the attention of the audi- 
ence is drawn to the second queen, the performer, by 
means of "the bottom change" exchanges the queen that 
IS m his hand for one of the aces, which he lays on 
the table. Some one is now asked to turn over the 
third card, and that being a queen, the performer re- 
marks that so far he has been successful. Picking up 
the two queens in an olf-hand way, he says, "We have 
had the Queens of spades, hearts, and clubs. All we 
need is the Queen of diamonds. Will some one turn 
over the covered card and see if it is she?" While at- 
tention is directed to that card, Mr. Conjurer exchanges 
the two queens, that are still in his hand, for the two 



aces that are on top of the pack, and throws them, faces 
down, on the table. The trick is done and needs no 
further explanation. 

Thought Anticipated: 

When properly presented by one who is an adept at 
palming, this trick is wonderfully elfective. 

Two euchre packs and two other cards that are not 
in a euchre pack, say a five and a six, are required for 
the trick. To make everything clear let us call the two 
packs A and B. The two odd cards are placed on pack 
B. The packs lie on the table : A to the left, B to the 

Picking up pack A and going to one of the audience, 
the performer without giving the pack to him asks him 
to thinh of a card. When he has done so, the performer 
looks him in the eyes, and then spreading out the pack 
looks it over and finally selects a card, which he lays 
on the table, without showing what it is. 

The same procedure is gone through with a second 
person, and a second card is laid on the table. 

Laying the pack on a goblet and deliberately taking 
the two cards, still without showing them, the performer 
lays them on top of the pack. 

Picking up pack B, he requests the first man to take 
from it the card he thought of, but before handing him 
the pack Mr. Conjurer palms the two odd cards that 
are on the top. When the card has been taken from 
the pack the man is told to keep it for the time being. 

The same routine is followed with the second man. 

The reader will now understand why two odd cards 
are placed on top of the pack, for if two cards belong- 


mg to the pack be palmed it is possible that one or even 
both might be the ones thought of and would be missed 
from the pack. The two odd cards are also necessary 
for the concluding effects. 

The pack is now offered to a third person, with the 
request that he take a number of cards and count 
them secretly. Placing the rest of the pack on the 
palm of his left hand and at the same time having the 
two selected cards laid on top of it, the performer asks 
the man who is assisting to place the cards he counted 
on top of those. Taking the pack in his right hand 
the performer lays the two palmed cards on top. Ad- 
dressing the third assistant he asks how many cards 
he placed on the two selected. Let us suppose the an- 
swer to be fourteen. Very deliberately sixteen top 
cards are counted on the table. To the audience it will 
appear as if the two selected cards are on top of the 
pile, and so they would be, had not the performer added 
the two odd cards. In reality the selected cards are 
on top of the others of the pack. While putting aside 
this packet the performer palms these two top cards and 
taking pack A off the goblet leaves them on top of it. 

Addressing the two who selected the cards the per- 
former remarks that it would be a simple matter to 
read their minds and that the two cards which at the 
start he placed on top of this pack must be the ones 
they thought of. That there may be no question of 
this they are asked to name their cards, first, and then 
turn up the two cards. To their surprise they will find 
them to be their cards. 

Putting the two cards aside and picking up the sis- 
teen cards, which he adds to the rest of pack B, the 


performer announces that he will command the chosen 
cards to leave pack B and pass to pack A. Both packs 
are now examined, when it will be found that the cards 
have passed from one pack to the other, as ordered. 

In order to avoid the possibility of the two persons 
thmking of the same card, which would spoil the trick, 
It would be well to have them tell each other the names 
of their cards. 

The Spots on a Freely Selected Card Will Indicate the 
Number of Cards Secretly Removed from the Pack: 

At the bottom of the -pack are eight cards arranged 
as follows: a deuce, trey, four, five, six, seven, eight, 
and nme, of varying suits. The undermost card must 
be the deuce, on top of this follow the trey, four, and 
so on to the nine. By slightly turning up the left hand 
bottom corner of the nine spot, these arranged cards 
may be easily found when the rest of the pack is on 
top of them. These arrangements must be made before 
attempting to show the trick. 

To begin, the performer lays the pack on the table 
and requests some one to remove "a good portion" and 
from this to take away as many cards between one 
and ten, as he sees fit; that is, excluding one and ten. 
These cards are to be placed on top of the pack. 
The assistant puts aside the rest of the portion removed, 
so that the performer can not possibly know how many 
cards were placed on top of the pack. As soon as the 
assistant at the beginning removes "the good portion," 
the performer picks up the pack, and by the "pass" 
brings the eight arranged cards from the bottom to the 
top, the turned up corner of the nine helping him in 



this. "When any number of cards between one and ten 
is placed on top of the pack the tenth card from the 
top will indicate by its spots the number. For exam- 
ple: If five cards are placed on top, first counting of? 
these five, the sixth card will be a nine, the seventh, an 
eight, the eighth, a seven, the ninth, a six, and the tenth, 
a five. 

The effect of the trick may be improved by allowing 
the one who assists to select a number between one and 
ten. As soon as the cards are placed on top of the pack 
the performer passes three cards to the bottom, in which 
case the seventh card from the top will now tell by its 
spots how many cards were placed on top. It is a 
psychological fact that eight out of ten men asked to 
select a number between one and ten will choose 
"seven." In that case hand the pack to the assistant 
and tell him to look at the seventh card. If, by any 
chance "five" should be called for, two more cards 
must be slipped to the bottom, and so on for other 

The Ace of Diamonds Changes to a Trey: 

To begin the trick the performer has the ace of dia- 
monds on top of the pack and the trey of the same suit 
at the bottom. Making the "pass" he brings the two 
cards together in the center of the pack, and forces 
the ace of diamonds on one of the audience. The trey 
is now the bottom card of the top section of the pack. 
When the pack is closed the performer separates the 
two packets by inserting between them the little finger 
of the left hand. "When the ace is to be replaced he 



opens the pack at the place of separation, so that it 
will be directly under the trey. Putting his little finger 
between the ace and the trey, he makes the "pass," 
bringing these cards to their original position on top 
and at the bottom of the pack. "Now," says the per- 
former, ' ' I will despatch the ace on its travels, by send- 
ing it from the middle of the pack to the bottom." He 
ruffles the pack and shows the ace, apparently, at the 
bottom. What he really does is to hold the pack at its 
ends by both hands, the fingers covering the end spots 
of the trey. Then he covers the face of the cards with 
his left hand and presses the pack against his fore- 
head. With his other hand he strikes the hand that 
holds the pack. This, he says, is to drive the ace 
through the pack. He removes the pack from his fore- 
head and the ace is seen sticking there. This is effected 
by having the forehead dampened before beginning the 

Removing the ace from his forehead the performer 
spins it through the air, and catching it as it falls 
shows that it is really the ace of diamonds. "Now 
watch it," he says, and once more sets it spinning 
through the air. Every one can see that it is the ace. 
This time as it comes down the performer does not 
touch it, but allows it to reach the ground. "Will 
some one," he asks, "be good enough to pick it up, and 
tell us what card it is?" And to the surprise of all it 
proves to be the trey. 

The secret of this is that the performer changes the 
ace for the trey, and when the latter is spun in the air, 
by some principle of optics, which is not clearly under- 


Henry Hatton 


Adrian Plate 

Dover Publications, Inc. 
Mineola, New York 

Bibliographical Note 

This Dover edition, first publislied in 2002, is an unabridged reprint of 
Magicians' Tricks: How Tiiey Are Done, originally published by The Century 
Co., New York, 1910. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Hatton, Hemy. 

Magicians' tricks / Henry Hatton and Adrian Plate, 
p. cm. 

Originally published: New York : Century Co., 1910. 
ISBN 0-486-42516-9 (pbk.) 
1. Magic tricks. I. Plate, Adrian. II. Title. 

GV1547 .H3 2002 
793.8— dc21 


Manufactured in the United States of America 
Dover Publications, Inc., 31 East 2nd Street, Mineola, N.Y. 11501 






The Pass „ , 7 

The Clip 10 

The "Diagonal" or "Dovetail" Pass 11 

The Card Palm 14 

The Bottom Palm 15 

The Change 16 

The Top Change 16 

The Bottom Change 17 

A New Top Change 18 

A Single Change 19 

False Shuffles 20 

To Leave a Prearranged Pack Undisturbed While Seeming 

to Shuffle It Thoroughly 21 

Another Method of Shuffling a Pack Without Changing 

Its Order 22 

To Shuffle the Pack so as Not to Disturb the Position of 

the Top or the Bottom Card or of Both Cards . . 23 

To Force a Card 24 

The Second Deal 25 

The False Count 26 

The "Ruffle" 28 

To Spring the Cards From One Hand to the Other . . 28 

The Slide 30 

The Forcing Die 31 

The Prearranged Pack 32 

The Color Change 40 

To Make a Card Disappear From a Glass 47 

The Transformation of the Jack of Clubs 49 

The Prediction 52 

To Discover a Card Drawn From the Pack .... 54 

A Flying Card .58 




A Greek Cross 59 

A Selected Card Appears at Any Desired Number From 

the Top of the Pack 61 

A Card Apparently Placed at the Bottom of the Pack, 

Appears at the Top 63 

A Question of Sympathy 64 

The Card in the Poeketbook 64 

The Disappearing Queen 67 

The Changing Card 69 

A "Wonderful Change 72 

With a String — A Reminiscence 73 

The Obedient Cards 74 

The Rising Cards in a Case 86 

The Rising Cards, as Exhibited by Buatier de Kolta . . 87 

One More Version of the Rising Cards 89 

The Seven Heap 90 

The Sympathetic Kings and Queens 91 

Correcting a Mistake 93 

Thought Anticipated 95 

The Spots on a Freely Selected Card Will Indicate the 

Number of Cards Secretly Removed From the Pack . 97 

The Ace of Diamonds Changes to a Trey 98 

The Four Aces 100 

From Pocket to Pocket 101 

The Vanishing Card 108 

The Cards in the Envelopes 110 

A Missing Card Found 112 

A Feat of Divination 113 

To Tell in Succession all the Cards in a ShuflEled Pack , . 114 
To Call Out the Names of the Cards While the Pack is 

Behind the Back 115 

Another Method of Discovering Every Card in a ShufiSed 

Pack 116 

To Call Out. Cards While the Pack, With the Faces of 

the Cards Toward the Audience, is Pressed Against 

the Forehead 116 

The Choice of a Card 117 

The Reversed Cards 119 

A Subtile Touch 120 

The Sense of Touch 121 

A Mathematical Problem 134 

The Reunion 128 


Dr. Elliot's Variation in the Rising Cards 129 

To Tear a Pack of Cards in Two 131 


Palming 133 

The Miser 138 

The Peripatetic Coins 141 

The Walking Coin 144 

The Wandering Coins 145 

The Disappearing Coin 146 

How Money Attracts 147 

To Pass Five Coins From One Tumbler to Another . . 148 

The Penetrating Coin 149 

A Coin and a String 150 

To Pass a Coin Through a Hat 154 

A Coin, a Card, and a Candle 155 


To Pass an Egg From a Tumbler Into a Hat .... 161 
To Pass a Billiard Ball From One Goblet to Another . . 162 

The Changing Ball and Flag 163 

Novel Effect with Billiard Balls 165 

The Changing Billiard Balls 168 

The Patriotic Billiard Balls 169 

A Spherical Paradox, Not so Clear as it Seems . . . 175 


To Make a Handkerchief Disappear From the Hands . . 182 

The Stretched Handkerchief 182 

The Handkerchief with Seven Comers 183 

The Mysterious Knots 185 

The Transit of Old Glory 187 

A Succession of Surprises by Le Professeur Magieus 

(Adolphe Blind) 192 

The Three Handkerchiefs 194 

A Silk Handkerchief Placed in a Cornucopia Disappears, 

and is Found Tied Around a Candle 196 





An Adhesive Nut 204 

An Elusive Ring 205 

A Borrowed Bank Note that is Destroyed by Tearing or 

Burning is Found Imbedded in a Lemon .... 206 

A Disappearing Knife 208 

A Match Trick 209 

The Moving Ears 211 

The Talking Glass 212 

The Suspended Glass 212 

The Tilting Goblet 213 

A Broken Match 213 


Paper Tearing 214 

The Torn and Restored Strip of Paper 215 

The Cigarette-Paper Trick 223 

A Japanese Trick 223 

The Disappearance of a Glass of Water, by Okito (Theo. 

Bamberg) 225 

A Temperance Trick 229 

The Chinese Rice Bowls (With Variations by Conradi) . 230 

Firing a Girl From a Cannon Into a Trunk .... 236 

A Fruitful Experiment 237 

Something From Nothing 239 

The Adhesive Dice 242 

The Antispiritualistic Cigarette Papers 242 

The Spirit Table (by Germain) 244 

The Needle Trick (by Clement de Lion) 248 

The Vanishing Glass of Water 249 

Phantasma (by Felicien Trewey) 253 

A Traveling Wand 254 

A Mysterious Flight 255 

The New Die and Hat Trick (by Will Goldston, London) . 259 

A Girl Produced From Empty Boxes (by Will Goldston) . 261 

The Nest of Boxes 264 

A Floral Tribute 273 

A Curious Omelet 276 

The Coffee Trick 281 

The Growth of Flowers 288 



The Secret of Eope Tying 292 

A Knotty Problem 300 

The Knot of Mystery 303 

The Afghan Bands . . _ 306 

Mnemonics as Applied to Conjuring 309 

Memorizing at One Readiag a Long List of Words Sug- 
gested by the Audience 316 

Kellar's Cube Root Trick 316 

With Apologies to the Audience 321 

The Clock 323 

Wine or Water 326 

The Blackboard Test 330 

A Water Trick 338 

Appendix ................ 341 



The Editors beg leave to aclmowledge 
their indebtedness to Messrs Trewey, 
Germain, Fischer, Blind, Conradi, Car- 
oly, Goldston, Okito, Ducrot, Elliott, De 
Lion, Fuigle and others of their brother 
conjurers who have generously contrib- 
uted explanations of tricks to "The 
Magicians' Tricks." 


There is a distinct fascination about conjuring not 
easy to understand. In the many years that we, the 
writers of these papers, have practised the art, we have 
known many men, and some women, who took it up for 
pleasure or money, or both, and we have never known 
one to lose interest in it. Shakspere, that master "mind- 
reader," must have understood this ceaseless hankering, 
for he makes Eosalind say : "I have, since I was three 
years old, conversed with a magician most profound in 
his art," which undoubtedly means that she had taken 
lessons in conjuring all those years. We preface our 
instructions "with these few remarks" as a warning, so 
that we may not be blamed should our readers find them- 
selves possessed of this undying love for "conjuration 
and mighty magic. ' ' 

That "the hand is quicker than the eye," is one of 
those accepted sayings invented by someone who knew 
nothing of conjuring — or, as is more likely, by some 
cunning conjurer who aimed still further to hoodwink 
a gullible public. The fact is, that the best conjurer 
seldom makes a rapid motion, for that attracts attention, 
even though it be not understood. The true artist in 
this line is deliberate in every movement, and it is 
mainly by his actions that he leads his audience to look 
not where they ought, but in an entirely different di- 


rection. Mr. David Devant, who for a number of con- 
secutive years has entertained London with his ingenious 
tricks, has said : ' ' The conjurer must be an actor. By 
the expression of his face, by his gestures, by the tone 
of his voice, in short, by his acting, he must produce his 
effects." He is certainly right, but as it is not our pur- 
pose to furnish an essay on conjuring as a fine art, let 
us turn on the lights, ring up the curtain, and let the 
magician make his bow. 



Stood, it is impossible to distinguish the one card from 
the other, the end spots of the trey seeming to be drawn 
into the center spot. 

The Four Aces : . 

The performer hands out the four aces with the re- 
quest that some one will place them in different parts 
of the pack. He sees to it, however, that they are not 
pushed down all the way, but stand up at the top about 
three-quarters of an inch. In this position every one 
can see that they are not in one place, but are separated. 
Taking the pack in his left hand the performer appar- 
ently pushes the cards down with his right hand. What 
he really does is to push them through the pack by 
means of the "dovetail pass," explained on page 11, 
until they come out at the lower end. Then they are 
grasped between the thumb and forefinger of the right 
hand, pulled clear of the pack and placed on top of it. 
The pack is then shuffled without disturbing the posi- 
tion of the aces which, finally, are passed to the bottom. 

The pack is now held in the performer's left hand, 
the faces down, with the first finger at the upper end 
and the thumb at the lower. The thumb of the right 
hand resting on the left hand side of the pack lifts 
about a quarter of it bookwise and with the fingers 
which are beneath the pack take away that quarter 
section and at the same moment slip away with it the 
bottom ace. Naturally that ace will be at the bottom 
of the heap when it is placed on the table. As the 
pack is held in a half slanting position this move can 
not be seen. This operation is repeated twice; the 
cards remaining in the left hand make the fourth heap. 


It is placed on the table alongside the other heaps. 
When they are turned over an ace will be seen at the 
bottom of each heap. 

Another Method.— In this method the aces instead of 
being found at the bottom of the heaps at the conclusion 
of the trick will be at the top. 

The performer proceeds as in the preceding method, 
but brings only three aces to the bottom of the pack, 
leaving the fourth on the top. He now requests some 
one to take away about a quarter of the pack and lay 
it on the table. Then he goes to two others with a 
similar request, and while passing from one to the other, 
he brings each time an ace from the bottom to the top 
of a heap, by means of the "clip," explained on page 
10. The fourth heap he lays down himself, after bring- 
ing the last ace to the top in the same way. 

From Pocket to Pocket: 

In this trick a number of cards which one of the 
audience has in his pocket are -transferred invisibly to 
the pocket of a second person. As usually exhibited 
only the cards in one pocket are counted and the num- 
ber to be transferred is restricted to three, four, or 
five. If the right number, say, four, is named, well 
and good, but should the selection fall on three or five 
the ruse is resorted to of taking one card visibly from 
one pocket and putting it in the other, under the pre- 
text of "showing the others the way." As here de- 
scribed, these decided drawbacks are evaded. 

Two of the audience are requested to assist the per- 
former. One is placed at the left of the table, the 
other at the right. The performer stands between 



them, back of the table. A euchre pack, of thirty-two 
cards is counted and divided in two. When each part 
is counted each of the volunteer assistants takes a 
packet, places it in an envelope and puts it into the 
mside pocket of his coat. Then a number is selected 
by one of the assistants, and the trick proceeds as al- 
ready described. 

As far as the audience is aware only thirty-two cards 
are used, but in reality there are thirty-five. At the 
start the performer spreads out his pack fanwise, with 
the assertion that he has thirty-two cards. Before 
handing the pack to the gentleman on his left to be 
counted, the performer inserts the little finger of his 
left hand below the three top cards and palms them 
m his right hand. The better to conceal them he takes 
hold of one end of his wand, which is under his right 
arm, without removing it. 

When the assistant has counted the pack aloud and 
announced that there are thirty-two cards, he is re- 
quested to square up the pack and, without counting, 
to divide it in two nearly equal packets. 

The other assistant, the one on the right of the per- 
former, is asked to select one packet and hand it to the 
first assistant to count. The other packet is laid in 
front of the performer. 

The assistant is now asked to count slowly on the 
table the selected heap. While he is doing this, the 
performer spreads out the cards a little, so that when 
he drops the three palmed cards on them, it will not 
be noticeable. 

When the count is finished and announced, as, for 
instance, fifteen, the performer pushes the cards that 



are scattered on the table toward the assistant, and in 
doing so drops the palmed cards on them. At the same 
time to attract the assistant's attention he remarks, "I 
should have preferred another number, but let it go 
as it is. Square up the cards, please." 

These few words of misdirection naturally turn the 
assistant's eyes from the cards to the performer. 

When the cards are squared up, the assistant is asked 
to place them in one of the previously examined en- 
velopes and to put all into an inside pocket of the other 
assistant's coat. 

Picking up the remaining packet, the performer 
says : ' ' Fifteen of our thirty-two cards are in this gen- 
tleman 's pocket. How many should be here? Seven- 
teen? That is correct. But to make sure, let me 
count them." Slowly he counts them on the table, one 
on top of another, until he reaches the fifteenth card, 
which he lays a little to the right, so that it overlaps 
the other cards about half an inch, and on it the remain- 
ing two cards are placed. 

With his left hand the performer picks up the seven- 
teen cards, taking care to place his little finger under 
the fifteenth card. ''Now let us see just how we stand. 
This gentleman"— turning to his right— "has fifteen 
cards in his pocket, which, with the seventeen we have 
here make thirty-two." The second pack he requests 
the assistant on his right to put into the second en- 
velope and place them into the other assistant's pocket. 

While turning to the* assistant on his right the per- 
former palms the three top cards in his right hand, 
using the spring pahn, explained on page 14, after 
which he grasps his wand that is under his arm. 



The trick is now almost done. Turning to his audi- 
ence the performer says: "Of the thirty-two cards 
fifteen are in this gentleman's pocket, as you will please 
remember, and seventeen in the other gentleman's 
pocket. Bear in mind, too, that both packets have been 
carefully counted. Now I shall order any number of 
cards that you elect to pass invisibly from one pocket 
to another. That there may be no suspicion of col- 
lusion, let chance decide the number." 

Putting his hand into his own pocket he brings out 
ten cards, numbered one to ten, in large figures. As 
he does this he leaves in the pocket the three cards that 
he holds palmed. 

Holding the numbered cards with their faces towards 
the audience, he passes them from hand to hand, call- 
ing out the numbers. Then he gives them to the as- 
sistant on his left to be shuffled. When they are re- 
turned he again spreads them out, calling attention to 
the thorough manner in which they are mixed. While 
doing this he locates card numbered three and slips it 
to the top. 

Turning to the assistant on the left he says : "I will 
begin at the top, and taking off these cards one at a 
time lay them face down on the table. When you call 
out Stop, I will take the card that happens to be the 
top one." The performer begins to deal the cards, but 
by means of the second deal he keeps number three 
always on top. When the command to stop is heard the 
performer hands the packet to the assistant and asks 
him to take the top card. " Let all see what it is. Num- 
ber three ! Then that number of cards I will pass from 



the envelope in your pocket to the envelope in this 
gentleman's pocket." 

Touching the gentleman's pockef with the tip of his 
wand he commands a card to "Go!" This he repeats 

Turning to the assistant on his left, the performer 
says: "You selected number three. You had seven- 
teen in your pocket, but as three have gone you now 
have only fourteen. While you, sir, "turning to the 
other assistant, "if you will count your cards, will 
find that you have eighteen instead of fifteen." 

The cards are counted by the two assistants, the per- 
former not laying a finger on them, and found to be 
exactly as was foretold. 

"While this form of the trick calls for some skill on 
the part of the performer it also calls forth much ap- 

A Second Method.— In this form of the trick three 
mentally selected cards are passed from one packet to 

^ The performer asks some one of the audience to assist 
him. This assistant he places at the right of the table, 
and hands him a pack of cards, with the request that 
he shuffle it. 

When the cards are thoroughly mixed the pack is 
divided in two. Each packet is counted and the as- 
sistant is asked to put one into his pocket. 

Picking up the other heap and taking five cards from 
it, the performer asks one of the audience to think of 
one card as he calls out the names of the five. Then 
taking five more he repeats this procedure with another 



of the audience and again with a third person by calling 
out the rest of the cards, so that the same card may not 
be thought of by more than one person. Finally, the 
entire packet is handed to the person who thought of 
the first card, and at the same time the performer com- 
mands the three cards that are thought of to leave the 
packet and join the cards which the assistant has in 
his pocket. 

The man in the audience who holds the second packet 
of cards is requested to count it, and on complying he 
reports that there are three less than when first counted. 
The assistant at the table is asked to count his cards, 
and doing so finds three more than when he put them 
in his pocket. 

To prove that the thought-of cards have really left 
the second packet, the persons who selected them are 
unable to find them in the packet. 

When the assistant at the table examines his packet, 
the missing cards are found in it. 

For this trick a pack is used that has been trimmed 
to taper, so that all the cards are narrower at one end 
than at the other. The pack is known to conjurers as 
a biseaute pack, a word which the French dictionary 
tells us means leveled. Such a pack may be bought 
from any dealer in conjuring goods. 

A euchre pack is best for this trick. The cards are 
arranged in a certain order known to the performer, 
as, for example, the following: 


King of Spades King of Clubs 

Ten of Hearts Ten of Diamonds 

Eight of Clubs Eight of Spades 



TABLE A, cont'd 

Nine of Diamonds 

Nine of Hearts 
Jack of Clubs 

TABLE B, cont'd 

Jack of Spades 
Ace of Hearts 
Seven of Clubs 

Seven of Spades 
Queen of Hearts 
King of Hearts 
Ten of Clubs 

Ace of Diamonds 

Queen of Diamonds 
King of Diamonds 

Ten of Spades 
Eight of Hearts 
Nine of Clubs 

Nine of Spades 
Jack of Hearts 
Ace of Clubs 

Eight of Diamonds 

Jack of Diamonds 

Ace of Spades 
Seven of Hearts 
Queen of Clubs 

Seven of Diamonds 

Queen of Spades 

To prepare for the trick the pack is divided in two 
equal packets ; one containing the cards in Table A, the 
other, those in Table B. The packets are placed to- 
gether with the narrow ends of the cards in opposite 
directions. No matter how often the pack is shuffled 
the two packets may be separated by holding the pack 
in the middle between the hands, the thumbs on one 
side and the fingers on the other, and drawing the cards 

When the assistant has shuffled the pack the per- 
former divides it, as explained, and adds secretly to 
the packet which the assistant chooses and counts three 
cards which he holds palmed in his right hand, in the 
manner described in the first method of doing the trick. 
These cards must be entirely different from those in 
either packet, say, two "fives," of different suits, and 
one "six." In this way there is no danger that any 
duplicates may be found later. 

The cards that are called out by the performer for 
the three people to select from are not those he has in 



his hands but are the names of some that are in the 
assistant's pocket. 

While going toward the person who thought of the 
first card, in order to hand him the second packet, the 
performer quietly palms three cards, which he gets rid 
of as soon as may be, by dropping them in his pocket 
or disposing of them in any way that suits his con- 

The trick then proceeds as already described. 

The Vanishing Card: 

In this trick a double-faced card and some clever 
manipulations are used. 

A card is prepared with a nine of spades on one side 
and a Queen of hearts on the other. If preferred any 
other two cards may be substituted for these. The 
manner of preparing such a card will be found ex- 
plained later on.* 

When beginning the trick the prepared card is next 
to the top card of the pack, the spot side down. The 
top card is the real nine of spades. The performer 
palms these two cards and gives the pack to be shuffled, 
replacing the palmed cards on getting it back. These 
he lays a little to the right, but draws back the top 
card, so that the prepared one will protrude a trifle 
beyond the right side of the pack. In this position the 
right hand, which covers the pack, seizes it by means 
of "the clip" and transfers it to the bottom of the 
pack. The prepared nine of spades is now at the bot- 
tom and the real nine at the top. The latter is now 
forced on one of the audience. As the prepared card 

* See the "Sense of Toueli," page 121. 


might be exposed if the regular method of forcing were 
used, the performer resorts to the "second deal." Ask- 
ing one of the audience to say which card he will take, 
counting from the top, he forces the nine of spades by 
the second deal. The performer shows the card, hold- 
ing It, face up, between the first and second fingers of 
the right hand. At the same time he turns the pack 
which IS in his left hand, face up, taking care that the 
prepared card is not exposed. He now announces that 
he will place nine cards on top of the nine of spades, 
makmg ten altogether. Bringing his hands together 
the performer makes "the bottom change," substituting 
the prepared card for the real nine of spades At the 
same time his left hand goes up, so as to be in a posi- 
tion to count off the cards. This makes "the change" 
easy, and as the audience still see the nine of spades (the 
prepared one) after "the change," they will not sus- 
pect that anything is out of the way. Counting the 
prepared nine of spades as one, the performer, appar- 
ently, counts nine more, always with the faces up, on 
top of It. Apparently, we say, for after he has counted 
five or SIX cards he makes a "false count," so that he 
will have nine cards only, instead of ten, in his right 
hand. Laying the cards, faces down, on the table he 
announces that he has ten cards, one of which is the 
nine of spades. He takes it from the bottom and 
spreading out the other cards places it in the center 
"the better to show it." While again closing up the 
cards, the fingers of the right hand which are just under 
It, turn it over deftly, bringing the side on which the 
Queen of hearts is, in sight, and closes up the packet. 
He now announces that he will cause the nine of 



spades to leave the packet and go to the pack. He 
ruffles the cards, and then counting them deliberately 
on the table, faces up, it is found that there are only 
nine cards, the nine of spades being missing. He picks 
up the pack, on top of which is the real nine of spades, 
and again using the "second deal" brings it back to 
the number from the top, from which it was originally 

The Cards in the Envelopes: 

A pack of cards is thoroughly shuffled by the audi- 
ence. While this is being done the performer palms 
four cards of the same suit and number, as, for in- 
stance, four of the ace of diamonds, which he has had 
concealed either in a pocket or that have been lying 
on top of the pack, at the start. "When the pack is 
returned to him he places these four cards on top of it. 
Going among his audience he "forces" these cards on 
four different persons who are seated some distance 
apart, so that they may not be able to compare notes. 
To each of these persons he hands an envelope with a 
request that he places his card in the envelope, seals it, 
and places it in an inside pocket. Going to his table, 
the performer lays the pack aside, and asks some one 
to come forward to assist him. Taking a second pack 
he requests his volunteer assistant to shuffle it. Spread- 
ing the pack out he calls attention to the fact that it 
is a regular pack and thoroughly shuffled. This gives 
him the opportunity to locate the ace of diamonds and 
slip it to the top. Then he spreads the cards in a row 
on the table, taking care that the ace of diamonds is 
about the middle of the row and that it projects a trifle 



beyond the line of the other cai-ds. He requests the 
assistant to take a card. By pointing carelessly to the 
aee of diamonds it is almost certain that that card will 
be selected. Then the assistant is allowed to mix up' 
the cards as they lie on the table and take a second 
card, without forcing a card this time. This is re- 
peated twice more till he has four cards, one being the 
ace of diamonds. Addressing his audience the per- 
former explains that four of the company have each 
drawn a card. That each card is in a sealed envelope 
and each envelope is stowed away in an inner pocket. 

Under the circumstances it is impossible for any one, 
except those who drew the cards to know what they 
are. He further calls attention to the fact that the 
person who is assisting in the trick drew from a second 
pack four cards at random, at least it is supposed he 
did, but by some undefined influence he was forced to 
select the same cards as the gentlemen in the audience 
had taken. Then the cards that the assistant drew 
are shown to the four persons in the audience, and as 
each sees the ace of diamonds he admits that he sees 
his own card. Following this, the assistant is requested 
to collect the envelopes from the men in the audience, 
and a plate or tray is handed to him, so that the en- 
velopes may be laid on it, and thus exclude any sus- 
picion of a change. The assistant collects the envelopes 
and mixes them indiscriminately, and of the original 
holders each draws an envelope at random. "Again," 
says the performer, "this subtle influence is at work, 
and each one of you shall draw the envelope he held 
originally. The envelopes are opened by the holders 
of them and each admits that he finds his own card. 



Instead of spreading out the cards for the assistant 
to select one, the ace of diamonds may be forced on 
him and he may take the others at random, but the 
better way is the one described. 

A Missing Card Found: 

Two cards, let us say, the three of hearts and the 
three of spades, are freely drawn by one of the audi- 
ence, and afterward are returned to the middle of the 
pack. Placing his little finger between them, the per- 
former makes "the pass," which brings one to the top, 
the other to the bottom of the pack. He then an- 
nounces that though placed in the middle of the pack 
the cards have of their own volition, traveled to the 
bottom. "Here," he says, "is the three of hearts and 
following it, the three of spades." To make good his 
assertion he shows the three of hearts and removes it to 
show the next card. But to his dismay, an altogether 
different card is seen. He replaces the three of hearts, 
with the remark that he will send it in search of the 
missing card. While saying this, he places his right 
hand over the pack for a moment, stretches his left 
arm, ruffles the pack, and then shows the face of the 
cards once more. The three of hearts has gone, as the 
performer foretold. He rubs his hand over the face 
of the cards, and lo! there is the three of hearts and 
following it directly, is the three of spades. 

When he first covers the pack for a moment, the 
fingers of his right hand are over the face of the pack 
and the thumb is at the back. With a gentle pressure 
and moving the hand downward toward the body the 
front and the back cards of the pack are removed and re- 



tained between the fingers and thumb. The fingers close 
over the thumb, which presses the cards out of sight 
against the palm. The hand is held against the stomach, 
a natural position and yet one that completely conceals 
the cards. The forefinger points to the pack and the 
attention of the audience is thereby directed to it. The 
cards are ruffled and when the face of the pack is shown 
again, the three of hearts is gone. Then with an up- 
ward sweep of the hands, the performer places the two 
cards on the front of the pack, removes the right hand 
slowly, and the three of hearts is seen in its position 
at the bottom of the pack, while immediately following 
it is the missing three of spades, 

A Feat of Divination: 

A pack of cards that has been shuffled by the per- 
former is handed to one of the audience with the re- 
quest that he cut it several times. He is then asked 
to divide the pack into a number of piles or heaps, to 
place them near one another on the table and cover 
them with a borrowed handkerchief. The heaps are 
laid face up. During these preparations the performer 
stands with his back to the table. When everything is 
in readiness he turns and asks some one to touch one 
heap.^ Picking up this heap, still covered by the hand- 
kerchief, the performer holds it against his forehead, and 
immediately proceeds not only to call out the names of 
the cards in the heap, but also the order in which they 
follow. The heap, as yet uncovered, is handed to one 
of the audience, who examines the cards and verifies 
what the performer has told. 

The prearranged pack is again brought into use. 



The performer gives the cards a false shuffle and then 
allows them to be cut, as often as desired, as that does 
not disarrange their order. After the heaps have been 
covered and one heap is selected, the performer picks this 
up with the handkerchief around it, and drawing the 
latter tightly over the top card is able to see the card 
through the meshes of the linen. He then proceeds to 
call oH the cards in the order of the formula. A quick 
glance at the heap nest to the one selected tells him the 
bottom card of those he is reading. 

It may heighten the effect of the trick if, before call- 
ing out the names of the cards, the performer pretends 
to weigh the cards in the handkerchief and tell how 
many are in the heap. Of course, that is a simple mat- 
ter with this pack. 

To Tell in Succession all the Cards in a Shuffled Pack : 

A pack of cards is shuffled and returned to the per- 
former, who at once names the top card. Taking it 
from the pack he shows that it is the card he named. 
He does the same with the next card, and the next, and 
the next, as often as he and his audience may please, and 
in a very simple way. 

When the shuffled pack is returned to him, he quietly 
turns a corner of the top card and sees what it is, by a 
glance at the index. As his audience have not been 
told what he intends to do, this is a very easy matter 
and does not excite suspicion. The pack is resting in 
the palm of his left hand, the thumb at one side, the 
second, third, and little fingers at the other, while the 
forefinger is in front at the top of the pack. This finger 
presses the cards a little towards the wrist, causing them 



to overlap just a trifle. When the performer has called 
out the top card, he picks it up with his right hand, his 
thumb at the end of the pack toward his wrist, his 
fingers on top of the pack. Instead of picking up the 
top card only, he also lifts the second card just a little 
so as to see its index, as shown in Fig. 77. The over- 

Fig. 77 

lapping position of the cards makes that easy. He lets 
go the second card, however, and slides off the top card, 
showing it and throwing it on the table. The card that 
will now be on top, he knows, and he has only to repeat 
the procedure above described as often as may be neces- 
sary. The several movements are perfectly natural and 
can not be detected if proper care is taken. 

To Call Out the Names of the Cards While the Pack is 
Behind the Back: 

A prearranged pack, "four benign kings," etc., is 
concealed in a pocket behind the performer's back. To 
show the trick he hands out another pack, with the 
same back, and has it thoroughly shuffled. This he ex- 
changes for his arranged pack, and with that the work 
of calling off the names of the cards is a simple matter. 



In ease he attempts the trick with a borrowed pack the 
backs are carefully kept out of sight, as that might lead 
to the exposure of the trick. 

Another Method of Discovering Every Card in a Shuffled 

When the audience have thoroughly shuffled the 
pack, the performer places it behind his back and be- 
gins to call out the name of a card. To convince his 
audience that he is right he skims the card toward them, 
so that they may see for themselves. Another card 
follows and another, and still another, until the audi- 
ence are satisfied. Any pack may be used for the trick 
as there is absolutely no preparation of any kind. Be- 
fore beginning the trick the performer gets a sight of 
the top card of the pack. As soon as he places the 
cards behind his back he "palms" one card in his right 
hand — any one — and then taking the top card holds it 
lightly between the first and second fingers of the right 
hand. Bringing that hand in front of him, half-closed, 
with the back toward the audience, he moves the hand 
toward the shoulder and then with a short, quick jerk 
sends the card that is between his fingers flying into the 
audience. This movement enables him to see the card 
that he has palmed, and that card is the next one to 
be called out. So he proceeds, as long as he pleases, 
palming the cards and throwing them to the audience. 

To Call Out the Cards While the Pack, With the Faces of 
the Cards Toward the Audience, is Pressed Against 
the Forehead: 

In this trick a small convex mirror, about the size of 



a dime, is concealed in the right hand and reflects the 
face of the card. When the pack is handed out to be 
shuffled, the pack is held with the back of the hand 
uppermost, so that the mirror may not be seen. A con- 
venient way to hold the mirror is to attach it to the 
larger side of a shirt stud by a bit of adhesive wax. The 
button part of the stud is held between the second and 
third fingers, and is thus perfectly secure. If the pack 
is held at one end with the thumb on one side and the 
forefinger on the other, the front card of the pack will 
be visible in the mirror, as the pack is being placed 
against the forehead. As the name of the card is called 
out, the card itself is taken away with the left hand. 
The pack, of course, may be shufHed at any time during 
the course of the trick. 

The Choice of a Card: 

The performer gives a euchre pack of 32 cards to 
some one to shuffle, with the request that afterward it 
be placed on the table, faces down, in four heaps of 
eight cards each. One of these heaps is then selected 
by the audience for the trick. Picking up that heap 
the performer divides it in two. Taking a part in each 
hand he requests the person who is assisting him to 
think of a card that is in either of the packets. When 
the selected packet is pointed out to him the performer 
places the other four cards on top of it, and then one 
of the three packets that lie on the table on top of the 
eight cards in his left hand and the other two at the 
bottom. This he does quickly so that the audience may 
be in doubt whether the heaps went on top or on the 
bottom. If the performer is expert at making the 



"pass" it will be better for him to place all three heaps 
on top, and afterward pass two to the bottom. The per- 
former himself now places the pack on the table in four 
heaps of eight cards each, by first making four heaps 
of two cards taken from the top of the pack. Then he,- 
places one card from the top on each heap and repeats 
this. After this each heap will consist of four cards. 
Of the remaining sixteen cards he puts four on each 
heap, "to shorten matters," he says. Picking up one 
heap he fans out the cards and asks the person who 
thought of a card whether his card is there. If it is 
not he lays the packet on the table and shows another 
until he has the packet that contains the sought-for 
card. Then the fan is closed and the packet is laid on 
the table. The performer now picks up the packets, 
apparently, at random, but really is careful to get the 
packet that contains the card on top. At this point 
the "pass" may be used with advantage. The selected 
card is now the fifth from the top. A false shuffle may 
be introduced here, taking care not to disturb the five 
top cards. The performer ruffles the cards, and lays out 
in a row three cards taken from different parts of the 
pack, taking care that one is the fifth card from the top, 
and this he places between the other two. The gentle- 
man who assists in the trick is now asked to touch one 
card. The chances are in favor of his touching the 
middle card, especially if the performer carelessly points 
to it. Should one of the other cards be touched, how- 
ever, the performer coolly picks it up and remarks, 
"Now, two remain. Which do you select ? " No matter 
which is touched, the performer leaves the thought-of 
card on the table. "What was the card you thought 



of?" he asks, and when the answer is given, he contin- 
ues: " Turn up that card, please. That is your card, is 
it not? Thank you, you did that trick as well as I 
could do it." 

The Reversed Cards: 

The performer has a card selected and then replaced 
in the middle of the pack, which is opened bookwise to 
receive it. Before closing the pack the performer pushes 
the card with his left thumb a little to the right so that 
it rests on the tips of the left hand fingers, which draw 
it out still further until it protrudes about a half-inch 
on the right side. As the thumb of the right hand is 
at one end of the pack and the fingers at the other, the 
card is hidden by the right hand. The cards are now 
sprung from hand to hand as explained on page 28, and 
during their passage the pressure of the air on the pro- 
truding card will reverse it. The pack is then spread 
out fanwise, when the selected card will be found staring 
in the face the one who drew it. To carry the trick 
further the performer announces that he will repeat it, 
but this time with four or five cards. Several cards are 
drawn and replaced in the pack in different positions; 
all are pushed home and the cards are squared up. 
They are then sprung from hand to hand, and when 
they are spread out on the table, the selected cards will 
be found with their faces turned skyward. 

The method employed in this form of the trick is alto- 
gether different from that followed at first. As soon 
as the cards are selected and before they are returned 
to the pack, the performer slips the top card to the 
bottom of the pack, reversing it on its way. He then 



turns the pack in his hand, so that what was the top 
of the pack now rests on his palm. This is not per- 
ceptible, as the top card, which is face downward, covers 
it. The drawn cards are now replaced in the pack, care 
being taken not to open it, as that would at once expose 
the trick. The cards are now reversed. The top card 
is slipped back to its original position and the pack is 
turned over secretly. The cards are again sprung from 
hand to hand and when they are spread out on the 
table, the selected cards are seen to be reversed. 

A Subtile Touch: 

After a pack has been thoroughly shuffled by the 
audience, the performer asks for twelve or fourteen 
cards. Spreading these out fanwise, faces down, he 
requests some one to touch any one of the cards. He 
then explains that he will take away with his left hand 
this card and the cards below it, thereby dividing the 
pack in two parts. He shows the bottom card of the 
upper packet, which is, let us suppose, the seven of 
hearts. He then shuffles the cards again, taking care to 
bring the seven of hearts to the bottom of the entire 
packet. He then announces that he will again spread 
out the cards fanwise, and asks the person who is assist- 
ing him to touch another card, assuring him that his 
fingers will be involuntarily led to the same place in 
the pack that they went at first. ' ' Try it, sir ; it's a very 
curious thing and has attracted the attention of the 
most eminent psychologists, who are at a loss to explain 
it." The gentleman tries it again, and, strange to say, 
when the bottom card of the upper packet is shown to 
him, it proves to be the seven of hearts. 



The reader need scarcely be told that there is no 
psychology about it, but the whole secret depends upon 
bringing the desired card to the bottom of the pack. 
When once there and the fan is made, the fingers of 
both hands, which are under the fan are enabled to move 
the bottom card to any place in the pack that the per- 
former wishes. 

The Sense of Touch: 

The performer hands out for examination a euchre 
pack with the request that it be counted and then shuf- 
fled carefully. That done, he takes it back. "This ex- 
periment," he says, "depends almost exclusively on the 
sense of touch, which I have developed to a remarkable 
degree. In proof of this, I place the pack which you 
have just shuffled in my pocket," placing it in his left 
breast pocket. "Now," he continues, "if you will 
kindly name any card of the thirty-two, I will at once 
produce it simply by the sense of touch." Let us sup- 
pose the Queen of Hearts is called for. "The Queen 
of Hearts," he says, "very well." Thrusting his 
right hand into his pocket he produces the right card. 
"I could do that," he continues, "with my eyes 
shut. Strange, isn't it?" He places the card with 
its face toward the audience, against a goblet, which 
stands inverted on the table, so that every one may see 

Taking the pack from his pocket, he presents it to 
a lady with the request that she will draw one card. It 
proves to be, let us suppose, the nine of spades. The 
name of this card he calls out, and then holds it up, so 
as to satisfy the audience. Then he stands the card, 



with its back to the audience, this time, against a second 

Borrowing a handkerchief, he picks up the Queen of 
hearts with his right hand, and places it under the 
handkerchief, holding it there with his left hand. To 
convince the audience that it is really there, he lifts the 
handkerchief for a moment with the right hand and 
shows the card. "Mark, what I shall do," he says; 
"the card taken from the pack, which is standing 
against the goblet, shall, at my command, change places 
with the card that is under the handkerchief. Go!" 
He turns the card which is resting against the goblet, 
and lo ! it proves to be the Queen of hearts, and lifting 
the handkerchief he shows the nine of spades. 

For this very pretty deception sixteen double-faced 
cards are used, that is, two different cards are pasted 
back to back, so that, for example, one side of the card 
represents, say, the Queen of hearts, while the other 
side is the nine of spades. 

The cards are arranged as follows: 

The Ace of hearts is backed with the seven of spades. 
The King of hearts is backed with the eight of spades. 
The Queen of hearts is backed with the nine of spades. 
The Jack of hearts is backed with the ten of spades. 
The Ten of hearts is backed with the Jack of spades. 
The Nine of hearts is backed with the Queen of spades. 
The Eight of hearts is backed with the King of spades. 
The Seven of hearts is backed with the Ace of spades. 

The Ace of diamonds is backed with the seven of clubs. 
The King of diamonds is backed with the eight of clubs. 
The Queen of diamonds is backed with the nine of clubs. 
The Jack of diamonds is backed with the ten of clubs. 



The Ten of diamonds is backed with the Jack of clubs. 
The Nine of diamonds is backed with the Queen of clubs. 
The Eight of diamonds is backed with the King of clubs. 
The Seven of diamonds is backed with the Ace of clubs. 

As will be seen the highest card of hearts or diamonds 
is backed by the lowest card of spades or clubs, and this 
arrangement is followed with the whole pack, proving 
a great help in remembering the order. To prepare 
these cards, they are soaked for about an hour in cold 
water, after which they are split apart, and the faces 
are then pasted (not glued) together, back to back, and 
put in a press to dry. 

A holder is then made by taking two letter envelopes 
of heavy manilla paper in which the cards will fit easily. 
These are cut to the proper length, which is a little 
less than the length of a card for one and a trifle 
shorter for the other. They are sealed and the flap 
sides are pasted together. In one envelope group No. 1 
of cards is placed and group No. 2 in the other; when 
ready the holder is placed in the inside breast pocket 
of the coat. With very little practice it will be found 
an easy matter to produce any card. 

Everything being ready for the trick, the performer 
hands out a fair pack to be shuffled, and when it is 
returned he puts it into his pocket alongside the holder 
with its prepared cards. 

When a card is called for, say, the Queen of hearts, 
he thrusts his hand into his pocket and produces it, tak- 
ing care that the reverse side is not exposed, and stands 
it against the goblet, with the Queen of hearts facing 
the audience. When the performer takes the unpre- 
pared pack from his pocket he runs over it rapidly and 



finds the card that is back of the prepared Queen of 
hearts, and forces it on the lady who is to take a card. 
While she is looking at it, the performer shows that the 
cards are all different, and while doing so, finds the 
unprepared Queen of hearts and places it on top of 
the pack. "When the nine of spades is returned to him 
by the lady who draws it, he shows it, by holding it 
aloft, and then exchanges it for the top card (the un- 
prepared Queen of hearts) and stands it, with its back 
to the audience, against the second goblet. 

As he lowers the handkerchief, after showing that the 
Queen of hearts is really there, he gives the prepared 
card a turn, so that the nine of spades will show when he 
removes the handkerchief. 

At the close of the trick, both cards are placed on 
top of the pack, the prepared card at the very top, and 
this the performer palms, so that if, required, the pack 
may again be examined. 

A Mathematical Problem: 

To pick out from a pack in one's pocket the card 
thought of, without asking a question. 

This is one of the most brilliant and most incompre- 
hensible tricks ever invented. Moreover, it requires 
little skill on the part of the performer, being the result 
of a cleverly devised mathematical formula. All that 
is necessary for its successful performance is to follow 
out the instructions found here. A euchre pack of 
thirty-two cards is used; the deuce, trey, four, five and 
six being laid aside. 

Before beginning the trick, the performer arranges as 



follows, eight hands of four cards each, placing them 
face uppermost on a table: 

Hand 1 consists of an Ace, a King, a Queen and a Jack. 
Hand 2 consists of a 7, a King, a 9, and a Jack. 
Hand 3 consists of an 8, a Queen, a 9 and a Jack. 

In these hands the suits should be as varied as pos- 
sible. "Hand 4" contains four indifferent cards. 

Hand 5 contains two hearts and two spades, regardless of the 

Hand 6 contains two diamonds and two spades, regardless of 
the spots. 

Hands 7 and 8 are made up, each, of four indifferent 
cards. "When all are laid out, hand 2 is placed on hand 
1 ; hand 3 on hand 2, and so on to the end, so that hand 
1 will be on top of the pack, when it is turned over. 
Hands 4, 7, and 8, have no bearing on the trick, but are 
merely intended as a blind. 

Hands 1, 2 and 3 have a certain spot value, as shown 


Table I: Hand No. 1, has for spot value, 1 
Hand No. 2, has for spot value, 2 
Hand No. 3, has for spot value, 4 

These numbers show the spots of the card thought of, 
as explained further. 

Table II: Hand No. 5 has for suit value, 1 
Hand No. 6 has for suit value, 2 

and determine the suit of the card thought of. 

Eight cards are arranged mentally so that the highest 
card is followed by the lowest, as appears in 



Table III: 1. Ace 

5. Queen 

2. Seven 

3. King 

4. Eight 

6. Nine 

7. Jack 
0. Ten 

The order of the suits is that shown in 

Table IV: Hearts =1 Spades = 3 
Diamonds = 2 Clubs = 

A formidable list, the reader may say, but one easily 
remembered, if studied carefully. The pack being ar- 
ranged, as explained, and the tables memorized, the 
performer is ready for the trick. To do away with 
any suspicion of prearrangement, the performer begins 
by giving the pack a false shuffle, so that the order of 
the cards is not disarranged in the least. 

One of the audience is now requested to think of a 
card, and, so that there may be no question after, to 
write the name of it on paper and keep the paper. 

The performer, sitting at a table with the one who 
thought of the card, deals out the four top cards with 
the request &zt the other shuffles them, without allow- 
ing anyone to see them, and then selects and puts aside 
any and all tards, no matter of what suit, that have 
the same spot value as the card thought of. This is 
repeated four times until sixteeti cards are dealt out. 
The performer, in the meanwhile, quietly makes a mental 
note of the "hands" from which the cards are selected. 
Of course, it is only the first three "hands" that he 
watches, the "fourth hand," as has been said, having no 
bearing on the trick. 

If the card was selected from the "first hand," he 
recalls, mentally, Table I, and at once knows that this 



hand has a value of 1 ; then referring to Table III, he 
finds that No. 1 is an ace, and he knows that the thought- 
of card is an ace. The suit he does not know yet. 

Should the selected card be in the "second hand" 
only, he finds by consulting Table I that the value of 
the "second hand" is 2, and Table III tells that the 
card is a 7. 

Should the card be selected from the "third hand," 
Table I tells that "hand three" has a value of 4, and 
Table III that 4 is an eight. 

Should the selected card be in two different "hands" 
or in the three "hands," the performer simply adds the 
values of the several "hands" as found in Table I, and 
referring to Table III, at once knows the card. 

For example : If the selected card is in "hands one" 
and "two," by turning to three in Table III=a King. 

If in all three "hands," No. 7 in Table 111= Jacfe. 

If in "hands two" and "three," the value being 6= 

Should there be no value corresponding to the 
thought-of card in any of the three "hands,' .vo. in 
Table III shows that to be a ten. 

To learn the suit, the performer watches "hands five" 
and "six." In dealing "hand five" he requests that 
any and all cards of the same color as the suit of the 
card thought of, without regard to the spot value, be 
put aside. This he repeats with ' ' hands six, " " seven, 
and "eight," but pays no regard to the last two. 

Then he refers to Tables II and IV. Should the suit 
be in "hand five" only, which has 1 for value. Table IV 
shows the suit to be a heart. 

If the suit is "hand sis" only, it has a value of 2 



and 2 in Table IV=a diamond. If in "hands five" and 
"six" the united values being 3, Table IV shows it to 
be a spade, and should the suit not appear in either 
"hand five" or "sis," the suit shown by Table IV is a 

It must be borne in mind that all references to the 
several tables must be done mentally. 

While these instructions may appear complicated, a 
little thought will show them to be very simple, and the 
practice spent in memorizing them will be well repaid 
by the brilliancy of the trick. 

Now for the wind-up of the trick. The performer 
requests that the cards be brought together, be thor- 
oughly shuffled, and then returned to him. When he 
receives them he places the pack in one of his pockets, 
and then, putting his hand in, brings out the thought-of 
card. Wonderful as this seems, it is the easiest part 
of the trick. In each of four pockets, the performer 
has eight duplicate cards, arranged in order from 7 to 
Ace, Jack, Queen, and King; each pocket containing 
one suit only. When the pack is returned to him, he 
puts it in the pocket that contains the thought-of card. 
Then it is but a moment's work to locate the card 

The Reunion. 

The performer forces the Queen of hearts on some lady 
in the audience. When it is returned the pack is shuffled 
and a rubber band is put around it lengthwise. It is 
then momentarily placed aside while the performer ex- 
plains the situation. "I noticed," he says "that in re- 



placing the Queen of hearts, which was drawn, the 
lady took no pains to put her side by side with the 
King. That is wrong. They should be together, and 
we must try to remedy the wrong." 

He turns now to get the pack, but instead of taking 
the one just used he substitutes for it a prepared pack. 
From this the King and Queen of hearts have been re- 
moved, after which a fine, small rubber band is placed, 
lengthwise, about the pack. The pack is then stood on 

i'ig. 78 

one end on a table, opened in the middle, bookwise, and 
laid flat as shown in Fig. 78. The King and Queen are 
now laid, faces down, over the rubber band, and the part 
with the faces upward is folded over. Two or three 
cards are placed top and bottom of the pack and another 
rubber band is put around it, lengthwise, to keep the 
cards in place. Turning to his audience with this pack, 
he says, "Let us hope that their exalted highnesses have 
met. Will your Majesties kindly make your appear- 
ance?" Removing the outside rubber band, but hold- 
ing the pack tightly pressed together, the performer 
slightly relaxes his hold, when the two cards will rise 
slowly from the pack. "Ah, that is well," exclaims the 
conjurer. "And now for a trip in an aeroplane," 
saying which he relaxes the pressure entirely when the 
two cards will go soaring into air. 



Dr. Elliot's Variation in the Rising Cards : 

A pack of cards after being shuffled is divided in two 
parts by one of the audience who is requested to choose 
one packet. From this three cards are selected and 
shuffled into the packet. This is now placed in a goblet, 
when the selected cards will rise one by one from the 
glass, on command. 

The better to understand this, let us suppose that 
the cards to rise from one packet are three aces and 
from the other, three Kings. At the start these cards 
lie on top of the pack, first the three Aces and on top 
of these the three Kings. A false shuffle is made with- 
out disturbing the six top cards, and after the shuffle 
the three Kings are passed to the bottom : The pack is 
now cut in two by some one who selects one part. Tak- 
ing the chosen packet, the performer makes the "pass" 
and brings the three Aces or the three Kings, according 
to which packet is chosen, to the middle and forces them 
on three different persons. After the cards are noted 
they are shuffled in the packet to be afterward placed 
in the goblet. 

Before they are placed in the goblet, however, a 
threaded packet containing duplicates of the forced 
cards is added; this is lying face down on the table, 
concealed by a handkerchief, which is used to wipe the 
goblet, while the packet is placed on the prepared cards. 
To insure that the Aces or the Kings as may be de- 
sired, will rise the cards are threaded as hereinafter 
described. Looking at the illustration, Fig. 79, let us 
suppose that A, B, and C represent the Aces, and D, E, 
P, the Kings, and the dotted' line the thread. If the 
Aces are to rise, the half-pack of cards are to be placed 


directly on D, the thread being pushed aside and going 
over the hal^paek, and in this way is placed in the gob 
et, with A, B, and C uppermost. If, on the other hand 
the Kings are to rise the half-pack is placed on D, but 
the thread is kept between the threaded cards and the 
half-pack, and the packet is reversed when stood in the 
glass, D, E, F, being uppermost. As explained else- 
where, a concealed assistant pulls the thread to make 

the cards come up. In order that the cards may not be- 
come disarranged and also to insure that the cards rise 
straight a notch should be cut in the bottom of each 
card, as shown in the De Kolta Rising Cards. 

To tear a pack of cards in two: 

While frequently presented as a feat of strength— 
and It does require some strength-there is a little secret 
connec ed with it that enables the conjurer to do what 
most athletes can not. The illustration. Fig. 80, shows 
how to hold the pack, and if this is studied and our direc- 
tions are strictly followed, we believe that most of our 
readers will be enabled to include this in their pro- 



gramme. Hold the pack so that one end lies in the palm 
of the left hand with the two upper joints of the fingers 
grasping the end, and the right hand holds the other 
end in the same way. In this position the second-joint 
knuckles of one hand rests on the wrist of the other. 
The heavy muscles at the base of the thumb are opposite 

Fig. 80 

each other. With the pack held in this way the hands 
twist in opposite directions. Bracing the left hand 
against the upper part of the leg is of considerable help. 
A cheap "Steamboat" card tears more easily than a 
better card. As a conclusion, the halves may be torn in 


Palming : 

When one begins to study piano-playing there are 
certain exercises that must be mastered in order to gain 
proficiency as a performer. So it is with conjuring. 
No one can ever be an expert conjurer who has not 
learned and mastered the elementary exercises. 

For tricks with coins, and many others as well, one 
must be able to palm, that is to conceal a coin, ball, or 
other article in the hand. It need not be hidden in 
the palm, though from the name one might infer that 
to be necessary. Any method by which an object is 
concealed in the hand is palming. 

There are many ways of palming, good, bad, and 
indifferent, and from these we have chosen those which 
we believe are the best. 

Many of the sleights here described are used when 
a performer is supposed to make a coin or other article 
disappear from the hand in which it was, apparently, 
placed but a moment before. Let us suppose that the 
right hand holds a coin. As that hand moves toward 
the left, which is open, the coin is palmed by the right. 
The moment the two hands meet the tips of the right 
hand fingers are placed in the left hand palm and that 
hand closes instantly. Then the right hand is drawn 
away, leaving the coin, supposedly, in the left hand. 
Now, for the palming itself. 




1. The Palm Proper. — The coin is held by the tips of 
the forefinger and the thumb of the right hand. The 
second and third fingers are brought back of the coin 


Fig. 83 

and the forefinger is withdrawn, the pressure of the 
thumb holding the coin in place, as shown in Fig. 81. 
Next, the thumb is raised slightly, and the second 
and third fingers, guiding the coin along the thumb from 
tip to base, bring it into the hollow of the palm, as in 
Fig. 82. Here the muscles of the ball of the thumb press- 
ing against one edge of the coin force the opposite edge 
into the part of the palm almost directly below the third 
finger, where it is held firmly, as shown in Fig. 83. 



With a little practice it wiU be found that the coin 
may be thrown by the fingers straight to the desired 
spot in the palm without the aid of the thumb to guide 

A new coin with a sharp milled edge is the best to use 
when practicing palming. Both hands ought to be exer- 
cised in palming, as it is often as necessary to use the 
left hand as the right. 

2. The Finger Palm, No. i.—The coin should lie on 
the second joint of the second finger, with the forefinger 
overlapping about a quarter of an inch. Then the fore- 
finger is lifted a trifle and clasps the coin, as in Fig. 84, 

which is pushed through by the thumb between the first 
and second fingers to the back, where it is held. 

3. The Finger Palm, No. 5.— The coin lies on the sec- 
ond Joint of the third and the second fingers. The 
little finger is raised slightly and laid on top of the 
coin, which is held between the little finger on top and 
the third finger beneath the coin, as in Fig. 85. The 
first and the second fingers are now moved over in front 
of the others until they can clip the coin between them. 


as in Fig. 86, when they are brought back to their nor- 
mal position, and hold the coin by its edges at the back 

Fig. 86 Fig. 87 

of the hand, projecting between the first and second 
fingers as in Fig. 87. 

4. Thumb Palm, No. 1. — Hold the coin between the 
tips of the first finger and the thumb, as shown in Fig. 
88. By means of the first finger slide the coin along the 
thumb till it reaches the base, where it is held as shown 
in Fig. 89. 

Fig. 88 Fig. 89 

5. Thumb Palm, No. 2. — Lay the coin on the top joint 
of the second finger. Lift the first and the third fingers 
till they press the edges of the coin, steadying it with the 
second finger at its back. Move the hand toward the 
left and at the same moment move the thumb rapidly 
over the face of the coin till the first joint passes over 
its upper edge; then bend the thumb and between its 


first joint and the junction of the thumb with the hand 
hold the coin, as in Fig. 90. Three or four coins may 

Fig. 90 

be held securely in this way and not be seen as long as 
the back of the hand is toward the audience. 

6. The French Drop. — The coin is held between the 
thumb and forefinger of the left hand, with the palm 
upward, as shown in Fig. 91. The right hand now ap- 

Pig- 91 Fig. 92 

proaches the left, and the right thumb goes under the 
coin, while the other fingers close over it, apparently. 
See Fig. 92. Just at this moment, however, the coin is 
dropped into the left palm, where it is held. The left 



hand, turned slightly toward the body, must remain 
stationary and be held half-open. The right hand is 
moved away, the eyes following it, and the result will be 
that the audience will believe the coin is in that hand. 
In the meanwhile the left hand drops to the side. 

7. A Deceptive Sleight. — ^Place a coin in the extended 
left palm, and let it be seen there plainly, without call- 
ing special attention to it. The open hand is raised until 
nearly level with the breast, and the fingers of the right 
hand apparently pick up the coin, but really only touch 
it and leave it on the left palm. The right hand is 
closed at once and moves away. It will appear as if it 
held the coin, and shortly after may be shown empty. 

Other coin sleights will be described when they are 
necessary for the proper accomplishment of a trick. 
Now we shall pass to the description and explanation 
of some tricks in which the sleights described may be 

The Miser: 

This, if properly done, will deceive the keenest and 
most sharp-sighted onlooker. To begin, the performer 
goes among his audience and asks for "a black gentle- 
man's hat or, rather, a gentleman's black hat," remark- 
ing that while he prefers a tall hat, rather than no hat 
at all, a derby will do. Having secured one, he an- 
nounces that he will use it as a sort of bank of deposit 
for the money he expects to gather visibly from the 
air, where, just at present, it lurks invisibly. He re- 
turns to his stage or, if in a drawing-room, to the place 
reserved for his exclusive use. Then, showing his hand 
empty, he begins to pick from the air piece after piece 



of money, tossing each coin as he gets it into the hat. 
Finally, when twenty, thirty, or may be fifty pieces are 
thus collected, they are turned out on a plate and the 
hat is returned to its owner. 

There are several ways of doing the trick, but we shall 
explain the method followed by the original Herrmann- 
Carl Herrmann— who introduced it to this country in 
1861, and has never been surpassed in the performance 
of it. 

Let us preface the explanation by saying that Herr- 
mann acted out the trick in a very melodramatic man- 
ner, and this greatly heightened its effect. 

When the performer goes into the audience to borrow 
the hat he has one coin, say, a silver dollar in his right 
hand, and as an excuse for keeping the hand closed ha 
carries in it his wand. In his left hand he has twenty- 
five or thirty coins and that hand grasps the lapel of 
his coat. The moment he receives the hat, he passes it 
to his left hand and immediately thrusts that hand into 
it in such a way that the fingers press the coins 
against its side, while the thumb, resting on the out- 
side, clasps the rim. Turning the hat crown upwards 
and still clinging to his wand the performer boldly ex- 
tends his arms, and requests one of the audience to feel 
them, so as to be convinced that nothing is concealed 
there. This examination being made — and it ought not 
take more than a second — the magician turns toward 
his stage and, as if to prepare for his work, throws his 
wand ahead of him. At the same time he drops into 
his sleeve the coin which is in his right hand. Facing 
his audience he shows his empty hand, front and back, 
without uttering a word. Suddenly, he clutches at the 



air and eagerly peers into his hand. There is nothing 
in it. This action he repeats once or twice, and then, 
as if in despair, presses his hand to his brow and after- 
ward drops it to his side. This movement causes the 
coin in his sleeve to glide into his hand, where he holds 
it palmed. "When he again grasps at the air he seems to 
catch a coin, and shows it to his audience. This coin 
he tosses fairly into the hat. Instantly, however, he 
takes it out, looks at it fondly, kisses it, and, appar- 
ently, throws it back into the hat. In reality he palms 
it and drops a coin from the left hand into the hat. As 
the right hand is withdrawn from the hat its back is 
toward the audience and the palmed coin is not seen. 

Sometimes the performer pretends to pass the coin 
into the hat by pushing it through from the outside. 
This is done by palming the coin just before the fingers 
reach the hat, or the "Finger Palm, No. 1," may be 
used. At the moment the tips of the fingers are pressed 
against the body of the hat, a coin is dropped from the 
left hand, and the effect is perfect. 

When the stock of coins in the left hand is exhausted, 
the coins are turned out on a plate. Sometimes, how- 
ever, the performer goes among his audience, and, as if 
to show that the coins are really in the hat, he picks 
up a handful and lets them drop back into the hat. In 
doing this he retains a few, and these he shakes out of 
a lady's handkerchief, or pulls from a man's beard. 

In performing this trick the careful performer varies 
his movements, substituting for the usual hand palm the 
Finger Palm, No. 1. The advantage of this is that the 
open hand may be turned toward the audience. 

When about only five coins remain in the left hand, 



the performer may conclude the trick as follows: The 
palmed coin from the right hand is thrown visibly into 
the hat, while the hand is held out, as if to rest it, but 
really so that every one may see it is empty. While 
this is being done, the few remaining coins in the left 
hand are held between the left forefinger and the second 
finger. Then the right hand takes the hat and as the 
fingers go inside they snatch the remaining coins and 
the left hand is brought out, and it also is shown to 
be empty. When that hand again holds the hat the 
right hand palms all five of the coins. Finally, these 
coins are produced one by one and thrown deliberately 
and visibly into the hat. 

The Peripatetic Coins: 

Even with a more simple name, this would be a re- 
markably good, clever trick. So good and so clever that 
it has puzzled a number of professional conjurers. 

To begin it the performer borrows four silver dollars, 
and a man 's silk hat, or, on a pinch, a derby. The coins 
are thrown visibly and beyond question into the hat, 
which is held in one hand, while in the other is a drink- 
ing glass. In spite of the distance between these the 
performer causes the coins, one at a time and invisibly, 
to pass from the hat into the tumbler. That the coins 
are the same is susceptible of proof, for they may be 
marked in any way the audience may choose, so as to 
be readily identified. 

Very little preparation is needed for the trick. To 
begin, the performer has a fifth coin of his own. In 
this a tiny hole is drilled just near the edge, and into 
this hole is tied one end of a piece of fine sewing silk 



about 20 inches long, more or less, according to the 
length of the performer's arm. To the other end of this 
silk is attached a small, black pin, bent about the center 
so as to make a hook. This is fastened to the outside 
of the coatsleeve under the left arm, near the arm pit. 
The coin is tucked away in the waistcoat pocket until 

"While the performer is borrowing the coins from the 
audience, he has every opportunity to take out the pre- 
pared coin and hold it, unseen, in his closed left hand. 
The borrowed coins he collects in his right hand, and, 
when he has four, transfers them to the left hand. Then 
the two hands are brought together. The forefinger of 
the left hand goes under the top coin, and with the help 
of the left thumb the piece is pushed into the hollow of 
the right hand, where it is "palmed." 

Let it be said here, parenthetically, that tricks with 
coins and with cards may best be understood by follow- 
ing the directions of the several moves with the coins 
or other articles in the hands. 

The coin in the palm, as here described, may be held 
easily without being detected, if the back of the hand is 
kept toward the audience and the whole hand is held 
as if relaxed, which is its natural position. 

The other four coins are spread fanwise in the left 
hand. The right hand now picks up the hat by the rim, 
while the left hand throws the four coins deliberately 
into the hat. In doing this, it is well to begin with 
the prepared coin, letting it drop from as great distance 
as the thread will permit. The three other coins may be 
tossed in the air, one at a time, and allowed to drop 
into the hat, the better to deceive the audience. 



As soon as all the coins are inside, the hat is trans- 
ferred to the left hand, the fingers inside and the thumb 
on the brim, care being taken that the thread comes 
between the fingers. The audience may even be allowed 
to look into the hat, but in this case its lining must be 
black, otherwise the thread might be seen. 

The hat is now held away from the left side, and thia 

Pig. 93 

movement will draw the prepared coin up under the 
fingers, where it is held against the sweat band. 

The performer now picks up a goblet, and holding it 
so that the palm of the right hand is directly over its 
mouth, he cries "Pass!" and relaxing the muscles of 
the thumb, the coin drops into the glass. 

The money in the glass is thrown out on the table, and 
three coins are taken out of the hat, which is held, mouth 
toward the audience, to show that it is empty. 

The hat is placed on the table, and the dollar which 
has passed is replaced in the goblet. 

Taking the three coins from the table in his right 
hand, the performer, as before, transfers them to the left 
hand, "palms" one, and goes through the routine already 
described. In this way he continues until only one coin 



This coin the performer picks up with the tips of his 
second and forefinger and thumb of his right hand, and 
as that hand moves toward the left the second finger 
closes down on the coin and leaves it resting on the 
right hand palm, held, as already told, by contracting 
the muscles of the ball of the thumb. Almost at the 
same moment, the tips of the fingers and thumb come 
together, and are placed in the left hand. They are in- 
stantly withdrawn, the fingers wide apart, and the left 
hand is opened, showing the prepared coin. The audi- 
ence will believe it to be the coin seen a moment before 
in the right hand fingers. 

The prepared coin is thrown in the hat ; again the hat 
is taken up with the left hand and made to "pass" to 
the goblet which holds the three coins. 

The coins are carried to their owners who identify 
them, and the performer, who, in the meantime, has 
pocketed the prepared coin, retires, bowing his ac- 
knowledgments of the applause he has earned. 

The Walking Coin: 

Simple as this little trick seems it is very deceptive. 
Attached to the lower button of his vest the performer 
has a hair or, if at some distance from his audience, a 
piece of fine black sewing silk. At the other end of this 
hair or thread is a little pellet of wax, which is stuck 
to another button of his vest. Asking for a small coin, 
a dime or a cent, the performer secretly gets hold of the 
wax and sticks it on the coin. Then he takes a tumbler 
or goblet in his left hand and drops the coin into it. 
Shaking the glass and at the same time extending his 
arm, he causes the coin gradually to creep higher and 


higher in the glass until it reaches the fingers of the 
right hand held out for it. The wax is quietly removed 
and the com is returned to its owner. By taking care to 
shake the glass continually, the modus operandi of the 
trick will be completely concealed. 

The Wandering Coins: 

Though old, the following trick may be used to intro- 
duce another that is not generally known. The per- 
former places both hands on the table, palms upward 
and about eight inches apart, and requests some one to 
lay a quarter or a half-dollar in the palm of each hand. 
The hands are now turned down, so that the palms rest 
on the table, and when they are raised it is seen that two 
coins are under one hand, while there is nothing under 
the other. The trick is very simple and easy of execu- 
tion. In turning the hands down, the left hand moves 
somewhat slowly, while the right moving a little toward 
the left is turned quickly and with a throwing motion 
causing the coin to be shot from that hand under the 
left. With but little practice, the transit of the coin is 

Having shown this trick successfully, the performer 
announces that he will repeat the trick, with a slight 
variation and his hands further apart. He asks for two 
more coins, as for this version of the trick, it is imperative 
that he shall have four coins of equal value. Taking a 
com m each hand, he rests the back of his hands on the 
table, at a much greater distance apart than in the first 
trick, and then slowly closing them, he asks that of the 
two remaining coins one be placed on the finger-nails of 
each of the closed hands. In each hand there are now 



two coins, one inside, the other outside. Announcing 
that he will cause one coin to pass from one hand to the 
other, as in the first case, he turns his hands over, but 
alas ! the trick proves a miserable failure, for two coins 
fall on the table. These the audience, naturally, imagine 
are the two that were on the finger nails, but such is 
not the case. When the performer turned his wrist he 
quickly opened his left hand for a moment, and allowed 
both the coins, the one in and the one on that hand, to 
roll out on the table. Just before the right hand was 
turned, the fingers were opened a trifle, just enough to 
allow the coin that rested on them to slip inside the hand. 
Both hands are again rested on the table and the two 
coins on the table are placed one on the nails of each 
hand. Under pretence of taking unusual care this time, 
the performer with his eyes measures the distance be- 
tween his hands, moves them a little closer, then further 
away, and, finally, suddenly turns them over, and as he 
does so opens the fingers slightly so as to admit a coin in 
each hand. He opens his hands deliberately and in the 
left hand is seen one coin, while in the right there are 

The Disappearing Coin : 

A borrowed coin, say, a quarter or a half-dollar is 
placed in the palm of the left hand, the fingers wide 
apart. The right hand is then placed over the left, the 
coin being between the hands, which are held perfectly 
motionless. The hands are then slowly opened, and 
shown to be empty ; the coin has gone. Later it is pro- 
duced from some man's beard or found elsewhere. 

What became of the coin? To one side of a metal 


disc, about the size of a cent, is soldered a piece of hard 
wire, one end of which is bent upward and ends in a 
very small knob. The other end is twisted into the shape 

Fig. 94 

of a httle ring, and the whole is painted black. To this 
IS attached a fine elastic cord. This goes up the right 
sleeve, and is fastened to a back button of the trousers 
on the left side. On the other side of the disc is a piece 
of adhesive wax. The disc is held in the right hand by 
the knob, which passes between the first and second 
fingers. When the right hand is laid over the left, which 
holds the com, the waxed side of the disc is pressed on it 
The palms are opened a trifle, the fingers release the 
disc, and the com flies up the right sleeve. The repro- 
duced coin is, of course, a duplicate. 

How Money Attracts : 

The performer borrows a ring and a half-dollar, and 
lays them on his table, about nine inches apart Then 
he orders the ring to go to the coin, seize it, and bring 
It to him, which command is at once obeyed in a most 
mysterious and amusing way. 

To carry out this little trick, the performer provides 
himself with a piece of fine black sewing silk, about 
30 inches long. One end he fastens to the top button 
of his waistcoat; the other end, to which is attached a 
little pellet of wax, is stuck on the nail of a finger of the 
left hand. As he takes the borrowed ring, the performer 



puts it, for a moment, on the finger to which the waxed 
end of the silk is attached. Then with his right hand 
he removes the ring and with it the silk. Both of these 
he lays on his left palm, and transferring the waxed end 
of the silk to the right thumb, he presses it on the bor- 
rowed coin. Going to his table, which must be covered 
with a dark cloth, he lays the ring and the coin down, 
as already told. Then tapping the table gently with his 
fingers, he gives his order to the ring, and raising his 
body slightly, the silk becomes taut, and the ring slides 
along it to the coin. Then the performer lays the back 
of his open hand on the table, and gently drawing away 
his body, the ring and coin will move toward the hand 
and climb into it. 

All that remains to be done, is to remove the wax from 
the coin and return it and the ring to their respective 

Some performers substitute a hair from a woman's 
head for the silk, and for those who learn to handle it 
properly it is much to be preferred. 

To Pass Five Coins from One Tumbler to Another: 

Two glass tumblers are used for this trick : one is with- 
out preparation of any kind, but the other has the bottom 
cut out. The performer borrows five half-dollars, and 
substitutes for them five of his own. In each of these 
is drilled a tiny hole, near the edge. A black silk thread 
is tied to one coin and the thread is then passed through 
the holes in the others. To the free end of the thread 
is a bit of wax. The wax is held between the roots of 
the fingers, and the coins, stacked up, are between the 
finger tips. The coins are dropped, one at a time into 


the unprepared tumbler, and when all are in the 
wax is stuck on the back of the glass. The glass is 
covered with a handkerchief; the bottomless glass is also 
covered with a handkerchief. The coins are now ordered 
to leave one glass and go to the other. Taking hold of 
the handkerchief on the unprepared glass and at the 
same time of the thread and dislodging the wax, the 
performer removes handkerchief and coins, the latter 
concealed in the folds of the former. Picking up the 
bottomless glass, which is still covered, he places it on 
his left hand, in the palm of which the borrowed coins 
are concealed. Pulling off the handkerchief, he shakes 
up the coins in the glass, and then pours them out into 
his right hand, and placing the glass on the table, car- 
ries the money to the audience to show them that it is en- 
tirely unprepared. 

The Penetrating Coin: 

For this trick a shell coin, either a half-dollar or a 
dollar is used. The shell coin is a highly useful piece of 
apparatus. It is made by cutting out one side of a coin 
until nothing but a complete shell, one side and the 
edges, is left. When this is hollowed out, a second coin 
is cut down in its circumference till it will fit inside of 
the shell ; its edges must be remilled. "When the trimmed 
coin is laid inside the shell, the two will appear like an 
ordinary single coin. Provided with such a coin, the 
performer is ready for his trick. Laying the shell coin 
on a table, he covers it with a borrowed hat and says 
he will pass the money from there into his hand, or, better 
still, he will remove it from its position under the hat, 
cause it to leave his hand, and go back to the hat. He 



puts his hand under the hat and brings out the shell, 
leaving the trimmed solid coin behind. He shows the 
good side of the shell, palms it, lifts the hat and shows 
the coin there. 

A prettier trick, however, is the following : — The per- 
former stands an empty goblet on the table and places 
a breakfast plate on top of it. On the plate he lays two 
coins, the solid coin and its shell, the shell overlapping 
the other. Over these he places a tumbler. Picking up 
the goblet with his left hand and holding the tumbler 
with his right, he moves them about in a circle, grad- 
ually crowding the shell over the solid coin, until, at 
last, it slips over and covers it completely. At the mo- 
ment the one coin disappears it is heard and seen to 
drop into the goblet, as if it had passed through the 
plate. The last effect is brought about by secretly 
placing an extra coin between the rim of the goblet and 
the plate; the weight of the latter holding the coin in 
place. Just as the shell covers the solid coin, the per- 
former moves the plate forward a little, or tilts it a trifle 
by means of the tumbler, which he controls with his 
right hand, and causes the concealed coin to drop into 
the goblet. 

A Coin and a String: 

A coin, about the size of a half-dollar, with a small 
hole drilled in the center, is passed out for examination 
and marked. After this the performer runs a string, 
about two feet long, through the hole, and requests two 
of the audience to hold the ends. The coin, which hangs 
from the middle of the string, is then covered with a 
handkerchief. "Now," says the performer, "if I re- 



move the coin from the string, and these gentlemen keep 
hold of the ends of the string, I think you will admit 
that it will be impossible to put the coin again on the 
string. Yet that is what I shall try to do." Showing 
his right hand empty he puts it under the handkerchief 
and taking hold of the coin draws it to one end of the 
cord, until it comes in sight. The person who holds that 
end of the cord is asked to let go for a moment, until 
the coin is removed. Then the string is taken hold of 
again. Wrapping the coin in a piece of paper, which 
is held high up that every one may see it, the performer 
orders the coin to leave the paper and go back to the 
string. The paper is torn up and thrown on the floor. 
The coin has gone! Pulling off the handkerchief, the 
coin is seen, spinning on the cord. 

For this trick a shell-coin is used. Having such a 
coin, the performer has a hole drilled through both coin 
and shell, and is then ready for the trick. When the 
string is through the coins and the ends of the cord are 
.held, the handkerchief is called into play to conceal the 
method of working the trick. The performer removes 
the shell, taking care to keep the open side out of sight. 
The marked coin is still on the string, covered by the 
handkerchief. The performer now proceeds to wrap the 
shell coin in a piece of paper. The paper, which is ordi- 
nary writing paper, is about five by six inches. It is 
folded not quite in half, but so that one side is about 
an inch longer than the other. Taking the coin in his 
right hand, the performer places it between the folds, as 
shown in Fig. 95. Holding the paper with the shorter 
side toward him, lie folds the sides away from him (see 
Fig. 96). Finally he turns down the inch of paper, 



gained in the first fold, over the side folds, when, to all 
appearances, the coin will be tightly enclosed (see Fig, 
97). Appearances, however, are frequently deceiving, 

The paper folded in Fig. 96 Fig. 97 

Fig. 95 

and never more so than in this case, for the top A is 
open, so as to allow the coin to slide out, as will be found 
by any one who will fold a piece of paper, following 
these instructions. Taking the packet at A in his left 
hand, the performer taps the coin with his wand, so as 
to convince the audience that the coin is still inside. 
Then he turns his hand, bringing the end A behind his 
fingers, when the coin will slide into his hand, where he 
holds it palmed. The paper is torn up ; the coin has 
gone. The performer snatches the handkerchief away, 
and to the surprise of all, the marked coin is seen spin- 
ning on the string. To add to the effect, the coin may 
be wrapped in flash-paper, which may be touched off 
instead of being torn. 

When the trick is finished, the performer announces 
that he will repeat it in a "slightly different way," so 
that the audience will see more clearly. He hands out 


for examination a large metal ring, calling attention to 
the fact that there is no joint or secret opening in it 
Taking a piece of tape he has it tied around his wrists 
an end to each wrist, and has the knots sealed, if the 
audience so desire. His wrists are about two feet apart 
Picking up the ring, he apologizes to the audience and 
turns his back for a moment or passes behind a screen 
When he faces about the next minute, the ring is hang- 
ing on the tape between the wrists, as shown in Fig 98 

I'ig. 98 

Of course, while the tricks are similar, the modus 
operandi is entirely different. Two rings, exactly alike 
and each large enough to slip over the hand, are used. 
The audience, however, have no idea that more than one 
ring IS used. Before beginning the trick, one ring is 
concealed about the right forearm, inside the coat-sleeve 
After his hands are tied and he has picked up the one 
rmg, he thrusts it under his vest, as he turns his back, 
and lets the other slide down over his wrist and hand on 



to the tape. When he faces his audience, they wonder 
how the trick is done. 

To Pass a Coin Through a Hat: 

As generally exhibited this is a very old trick, but the 
following method will be new to most of our readers. 
The performer borrows eight or ten half-dollars, and 
places them in a row on a table, preferably one with a 
marble top. One of the audience is asked to choose one 
and mark it, and afterward to pass it to several others, 
with the request that they examine it carefully and also 
mark it. In the meanwhile the performer is blindfolded. 
The coins then are put into a hat and shaken up, but 
when the performer puts his hand into the hat, he at 
once brings out the marked coin. The secret is that the 
coin selected in passing from one to the other becomes 
quite warm and is easily found, the others being, compara- 

Fig. 99 

tively, cold. In this form the trick is rather flat, but it 
may be made quite mysterious. When the performer 
finds the coin he palms it, and then pretending that the 
trick has failed, takes his hand out. In doing this, under 
cover of the hat, which is in his left hand, he pushes the 


coin between the outside of the hat and the silk band 
that IS usually around it, where it will be perfectly 
secure. In an offhand manner, but without calling at- 
tention to it, he manages to show that his hands are 
empty. He holds the hat with both hands, fingers inside 
and the thumbs outside, as shown in Fig. 99. "Let us 
see whether we can shake the coin through the hat," he 
says. He shakes it up and down and at the same' time 
his thumbs press the hat in, near where the coin is con- 
cealed. The piece of money will quickly be released and 
fall to the floor, giving the impression that it has passed 
through the hat. The illusion is all that can be desired. 

A Coin, a Card, and a Candle: 

This is an unusually good trick, and as it can be done 
anywhere and without an assistant, it is especially suited 
for the amateur conjurer. 

It requires some previous preparation, but will well 
repay the trouble in making ready. 

The "properties," so-called, are: 

1. A Jack of Clubs that has been soaked in cold water, 
and then split apart. When it is nearly dry a marked 
dime is placed in the center and the card is then pasted 
(not glued) together again, put in a press, and left to 
dry perfectly. The press is made of two oblong pieces 
of half-inch hard wood, about four inches long and three 
wide ; in the center of one piece is bored a hole a trifle 
larger in circumference than a dime ; this will allow of 
the card being pressed flat. These boards are held to- 
gether by strong, tight rubber bands or by a weight 
placed on them, or still better by a thumb-screw at each 
end to keep them together tightly. 



2. A second dime, marked like the one in the card, of 
the same date, and in every way as like it as possible. 

3. A pack of cards, with three or four extra Jacks of 
Clubs on top and on top of these the prepared Jack. 

4. A leaf of cigarette paper, folded in half, with the 
second dime lying between the folds. 

5. A piece of candle, one-quarter the size of a whole 
one. From one end of this the wick is cut out, leaving a 
hole about an inch in length and of sufficient width to 
admit easily half the cigarette paper when rolled up. 
This piece of candle is placed inside the handle of the 
knife hereafter described, the hole toward the lower 

6. A sharp knife, like an ordinary kitchen knife. On 
the lower end of the wooden handle is a piece of brass 
tubing, large enough to hold the piece of candle. The 
whole handle is painted black or dark brown, and must 
look like one solid piece. 

7. A candle in a candlestick. 

8. A box of matches. 

9. An unpainted inch-and-a-half board, twelve inches 
long and six wide. From end to end, the longer way, 
near one edge is cut a narrow groove, in which a candle 
will lie, half-way down, without rolling o&. About the 
center of the board is hollowed out a cavity, into which 
the piece of candle will lie easily, without showing above 
the surface. 

10. A piece of flash paper, the size of the cigarette 
paper. In it has been wrapped a dime, and the im- 
pression of the coin is still to be seen, though the paper 
is empty, but folded as if it still held the dime. This 
paper may be bought from a dealer in conjuring tricks 


or be prepared by any chemist. (Full instructions for 
making this paper will be found at the end of the book.) 
Its peculiarity is that it burns instantly on touching a 
light and leaves no ash or other trace behind; it is held 
in a clip under the performer's waistcoat, where he can 
get it easily. 

To begin the trick, the performer goes to a lady with 
the pack of cards, and as he approaches her he cuts the 
pack, letting the little finger of his left hand, in which 
the pack rests, come between the two parts. 

"Take a card, please, madam," he says, and he runs 
over the several Jacks, so that she is sure to take one. 
"While she is looking at the card she has drawn, the per- 
former again cuts the pack, bringing the prepared Jack 
to the top. "Let me have your card, please. Ah, the 
Jack of Clubs. Very good. Suppose we put it where 
every one may see it." 

He walks to his table, and stands the card resting 
against the candlestick. "Keep your eye on it," he 
says. As he went to his table, he deliberately exchanged, 
by means of the "Top change," page 16, the card drawn 
for the prepared Jack, and it is that card he places 
against the candlestick. 

As he lays down the pack, he picks up the cigarette 
paper, in which is the second dime. Then going to some 
gentleman in the back of the audience, he asks for a 
dime. "Will some one lend me one?" he asks. "Ah, 
you, sir. Be good enough to mark it so that it may be 
unmistakably identified." 

While this is being done, he lets the second coin drop 
into his hand from the cigarette paper, and holds it con- 
cealed between his right forefinger and thumb. The bor- 



rowed dime he takes in the same fingers, and as he brings 
it up toward his face, as if to examine it, he slides one 
coin over the other, and gives the second dime to some 
one seated at a distance from the owner of the borrowed 
coin and nearer the stage, with the request that he will 
examine it carefully and keep it for a while. 

Going to a third person, the performer hands the 
cigarette paper to him and asks him to write a word 
across the length of the paper, then to tear the paper 
through the middle, to keep one half, and to give the 
other to the performer. 

When he receives it he returns to the person who holds 
the second dime, and taking that he wraps it in the paper, 
and then takes them to his table. On his way there 
he drops the borrowed dime into his hand, rolls the 
paper into a small, compact plug, and takes the flash 
paper from under his waistcoat. This he rests against 
the card which is standing against the candlestick, and 
lays, for the moment, the borrowed coin on the table. 

"Now let us have some light on this," he remarks, as 
he lights the candle. " 'How far that little candle 
throws its beam,' as Portia says. 

"Let us see how we stand. Here is the card that was 
drawn before the dime was borrowed. In this half-sheet 
on which the gentleman has written, is wrapped the bor- 
rowed dime. Now watch the sequel." 

Picking up the flash paper, he touches it to the flame 
of the candle, and in the twinkling of an eye it is gone. 
Taking the card and getting the borrowed coin at the 
same time, he goes to the gentleman to whom the second 
dime was shown, and hands the card to him, saying, 
"Please look at this card, and tell us if you see any- 


thing unusual about it. There seems to be something in 
the center? Can you take the something out? No? 
Then tear the card in two and tell us what you find A 

dime! Is it the one you saw a few moments ago ? Yes? 
Thank you. 

"The very dime the gentleman saw. Who gave me 
the com?" 

As the performer goes to the owner of the dime he 
exchanges the coin taken from the card for the borrowed 
one, which IS at once identified by its owner. The other 
coin he pockets. 

Going back to his table he takes the candle from the 
candlestick, first blowing it out, and lays it on the groove 
of the board. Then he takes up the knife, allowing the 
piece of candle to drop into his hand. Pointing with the 
kmfe at the candle he says, "Now I am going to cut up 
this candle," and lays down the knife. "Because " he 
continues, "I wish to find that bit of paper which is still 

While talking, he inserts the plug of paper, which 
he has held between two of his fingers, next to his palm 
into the hole in the piece of candle. Taking up the knife 
agam, he inserts the piece of candle into the handle, and 
proceeds to cut up the candle : First he cuts off the burnt 
end and then divides the candle in two. He lets the 
audience decide which piece he shall use, and putting the 
other aside, cuts the selected piece in two. Again he 
gives the audience their choice. This time he picks up 
the selected piece, draws it toward him across the 
board, covering it with his fingers, and allows it to drop 
m the cavity of the board, holding up the piece that 
was m the knife handle, and which he had dropped into 



his hand when he asked the audience to select the piece 
he should use. 

Going to the one who wrote on the paper, the per- 
former cuts through the candle with a pocket-knife until 
he reaches the paper plug. This, he requests the gen- 
tleman to take out, match it to the other half, and iden- 
tify the writing. All of which is done. 


To Pass an Egg from a Tumbler Into a Hat • 

.h'I % ''^l^'^"^ ^ ^^"^^ ^^eded. To it is 

attached a fine black silk thread, that has a small hook 

of thP ' - ""^^'^ ^^''''''^ part 

of the performer's vest. The egg is stowed away under 

his vest or m a vest pocket. When ready for the trick 

on the table; near them are an egg and a goblet. The 
latter are_ handed out for examination, and as he goes 
back to his table the performer exchanges the real egg 
for the imitation one. Facing the audience, he drops 
the egg visibly into the goblet. Picking up ihe hat he 
stands .t behind the goblet, brim up. Taking the hand 
kerchief by two corners he spreads it out, as if to cover 
he goblet. While the latter is thus screened, the per- 
former moves back a trifle, which causes the egg to rise 
up out of the glass and drop into the hat. The handkTr! 
chief IS covered over the glass. Taking the hat in one 
hand and the glass in the other, the performer orders he 

If^t T.'i' ''''' ^« hat. Seizing th 

handkerchief between his teeth he drags it off and show 
the glass to be empty. The next moment he pours tZ 
egg from the hat into the glass. As he turns to pu 
away the glass he unhooks the thread. Finally he re 
turns the borrowed articles, thanking the owners 



It may be mentioned here that a simple and secure 
way to attach a piece of sewing silk to an egg is to tie 
one end of the thread to a piece of broken match, about 
three-quarters of an inch in length, then make a tiny hole 
in the shell of the egg, about the center, and push in 
the bit of match. The thread may break but will not 
pull oS. 

To Pass a Billiard Ball from One Goblet to Another: 

A billiard ball placed in a goblet and covered with a 
cardboard cylinder mysteriously disappears to reappear 
in a second goblet, which is also covered. 

The necessary properties for the trick are: 1. A 
wooden or celluloid red billiard ball, to which is glued 
a small bit of red cloth, a quarter of an inch by half an 
inch in size. The ends, only, of the cloth are to be glued 
to the ball. 2. Two glass goblets. 3. Two thin, dark- 
colored cardboard cylinders, to go over the goblets. 
Each should be about two inches higher than the goblet 
and one must fit loosely over the other. 4. A fine black 
silk thread, with a loop at one end large enough to go 
over the performer's thumb; it should be about one and 
a half times longer than the height of one of the cyl- 
inders, and at one end have a tiny fishhook, with the 
barb filed off. 

The goblets are on the table, some distance apart, with 
the cylinders and the ball by them. Picking up the 
cylinders the performer holds them so that the audience 
may see through them, and then covering one with the 
other drops them over one goblet. Then with his left 
hand he takes up the ball, being careful to conceal the bit 
of cloth. At the same moment he gets hold with his right 


hand of the thread, which he has stuck on the right side 
o± his trousers or on his vest, and transferring the baU to 
that hand, inserts the hook in the bit of cloth and gets the 
OOP oyer his thumb. The ball is then dropped through 
he cylinders into the glass. To convince the audience 
that It IS there, the performer lifts both cylinders, tak- 
ing hold of them near the top. As the thread is longer 
than these covers, he can readily do this, showing the 
ball in the goblet. Once more he lowers the covers 
and takmg hold of the outer one near the bottom, which 
will draw the ball inside of it, removes that cover and 
places It over the other goblet. At the same time he 
e s the loop of the thread slip from his thumb, which 
lets the ball land in the glass. 

When both covers are removed, the first goblet will be 
tound empty, while in the second is the ball. 

The Changing- Ball and Flag: 

A billiard ball held in one hand and a silk flag in the 
other change places. The requirements for the trick 
are : ( 1 ) A hollow metal ball, japanned red and measur- 
ing about one and three-quarter inches in diameter, with 
a hole or opening in it, about one inch in diameter; (2) 
A half -shell, of metal, also japanned red and measuring 
about one and seven-eighths inches in diameter, so that it 
will fit easily over the ball. Inside this shell at its 
lowest part is soldered a loop of stiff wire, one and seven- 
eighths inches long, the lower parts of the loop about an 
inch apart. The loop must be painted flesh-color, see 
Figs. 100, 101, 102 ; (3) Two flags of very thin silk, about 
twelve by eighteen inches, each. One of the flags is 
folded in plaits or flattened flutings, so that it will ex- 



pand at once when released and placed in the wire loop, 
which it must fill entirely; it may be doubled up, but 
must slide easily into the ball. The loop is pushed into 
the ball, so that when the half-shell closes the opening 
and the ball is held with the shell-side toward the 

audience there will be no appearance of preparation. 
Flag and shell being in place the performer begins his 
trick. Holding the second flag in his right hand and the 
ball in his left, he shows them to the audience. Then he 
places the ball in the right hand behind the flag and 
shows the left hand empty. With that hand he takes 
the half -shell away from the ball, being careful that the 
flag conceals the ball. The half-shell is held between the 
thumb and fingers toward the audience, who imagine it 
is the ball. Extending his arms away from his body, the 
performer announces that he will endeavor to make the 
ball and flag change places. With an up and down 
movement of the right hand and the help of his fingers, 
he works the flag into the hollow ball. He keeps his 
fingers well closed and is careful not to show the ball. 
When the flag is entirely inside the ball he closes his 
hand, so that it appears as if he had the flag there, well 
crumpled up. In the meanwhile the second finger of 
the left hand is placed in position to push the flag from 

The hollow ball. 

The hollow ball covered 
by the half-shell. 
Fig, XOl 

The half-shell show- 
ing the wire loop. 

Fig. 102. 

Fig. 100 


he release, Z fl u ""P' ^' ""rt "Go " 

fall ver the t^^^^^^ ""^'"^ " The loop will 
to the : Z^ZV^ """^ 

the ,„-r5 IX ir^^hrop^ 

The ae*-color t " " '""J'"'^':'*- 

that it is over the w7 T'tf '"^"''""^ '"'"i^ 
fo^er ope., the^Sfhaef aid ZwVr ht Z 
hole bemg concealed by the palm of the hand The half 
shell got rid of under cover of the C 

Ifovel Effect With Billiard Balls- 



white anH n 1, 1, and one 

-lln- , '^^^ ^^eded for the trick Thl 

can not when in place easilv h« ^- ! , ^ 

ball itself. distinguished from the 

The performer borrows a Tint ar,/i io 
on the table. Near He lav, T T 
one of the red b a H s wht f ^'"^ ''^^^"^ 

»w in front of the lower h^t rt^rifrid 3 



from the shell with his third and little fingers and palms 
it (to make this perfectly clear the inside of the right 
hand is shown in the illustration), the shell only remain- 
ing between the thumb and forefinger, as shown in Fig. 
104, but the audience imagine that two solid balls are still 

there. The right hand, in which the red ball is palmed, 
picks up with the tips of the fingers the white ball and 
puts it into the hat. The moment, however, that the 
hand is inside the hat, the red ball is left there and the 
white one is palmed in its place. "Please note just how 
matters stand," says the performer addressing the audi- 
ence. "Here in the fingers of my left hand are the two 
red balls, while in the hat is the white ball. But if you 
will watch me closely, you will see, or rather you will not 
see, that by my magic power and these long fingers of 
mine that were made on purpose, I shall cause one of 
the red balls to change places with the white ball that is 
in the hat. See." With a little motion of the hand the 
performer with the second finger of the left hand slips 

Fig. 103 

As seen behind the 
right hand, 
i'ig. 104 


disappeTred Th '"'^^'"^^ mysteriously 

amppeared. Then graspmg in the air with his rieht 

fingers of the t A "'^r'^'''''' ^''^ second 
St hand ihe h "^'"'^"^ ^ith the 

Mow he . ^""^ the fingers 

t)elow, he tilts It over to show the red ball inside At 
the same toe the left hand is placed on ?he bri^ asl 

released from the shell and palmS tL I J 
disposed of as follows :-One red ball I I T ""'^ 
other is palmed in the right hand Th TJ t 

c iictnu. iNow, says the performer "T -.^i-ii o ^ 

a-, he produce, the palmed red ball. "So 'h" VoL „ 
ues "we have here oiice more the two red ball?" . h 
while plaemg the red ball, whieh he hr,-mt 7 ' ? 

which I M ° f-'^ri-'io- oi these sphere" 



invisibly. See!" Bringing the solid ball behind the 
shell he commands it to "go," and to show that it has 
obeyed, tilts over the hat, in which are seen a white and 
a red ball. Taking the remaining ball, which is half 
covered by the shell, he drops it visibly into the hat, 
palming the shell and getting rid of it. 

The Changing Billiard Balls: 

A red billiard ball is wrapped in a small red silk hand- 
kerchief and placed in a goblet, as shown in Fig. 105. 

A green billiard ball is wrapped in a silk handkerchief 
of its own color, and that is placed in a second goblet. 
When the handkerchiefs are pulled out of the goblets it is 
found that the balls have changed places. For this trick 
three balls are needed, say, two red and one green, though 
the audience imagine that two balls only are used. Be- 

Showing ball palmed. 
Fig. 105a. 

The ball in the handkerchief 
dropped into the goblet. 

i'ig. 105 


and the green ba t . . " handkerchief 

At allst the 1 m LnT"f,e7r;'.r 
handkerehief over the h.n l-f !u 

the green ban i, r,„ "'f' "SM hand in whieh 
The Patriotic Billiard Balls • 

preparation about them. The perfe™.; b T " 
a red bail into the irst ha a X i'a7i^^^ 
second, and a blue ball into the third Tb, I 
twice, and natnrally each hj l j ' "P™'' 

aiuraiiy, each hat should contain three balls 



of one color. Instead of that, such is the perverseness 
of the conjuring tribe, each hat contains a red, a white, 
and a blue ball. And yet it is so simple, as will be seen 
if these explanations are carefully followed. Let us call 
the hats A, B, and C. 

1. A red ball is taken up and apparently put in A. 
The ball, however, is palmed, a filip with the finger 
against the inside of the hat giving the impression that 
the ball was dropped into the hat. 

2. With the same hand a white ball is taken up and 
apparently put into the hat B, but instead, the red ball 
goes in and the white is palmed. 

3. A blue ball is taken and this is supposed to be put 
into C, but instead the white ball goes in and the blue 
is palmed. 

4. A red ball is now supposed to go into A, but the 
blue takes its place, and the red is palmed. 

5. A blue ball is picked up, but palmed and a red is 
put into C. 

6. Another white ball is apparently put into B, but 
it is palmed and a blue ball is dropped in. 

7. A red ball is picked up and put into A, and the 
palmed white one goes into the hat at the same time. 

8. A white ball is put into B. 

9. A blue ball goes into C. 

As the hand is empty after the seventh move, the audi- 
ence ought to be given an opportunity to see this, with- 
out calling attention to it in words. This may be done 
by simply moving the hats a little, as that will show 
the hands are empty. As there is no palming in moves 
8 and 9, the performer ought to make the most of this, 
as it will go far to convince the audience that the same 


lltel """u '"'^y — When the 

thllirjTi^ '"^'"^ P^^^-' -'1^ be found 

that m each there is a red, a white, and a blue ball. 

else Tbptir'''^'''' P^^™"g little 

else. The following tables will make everything clear :- 

1 Red apparently dropped in A, but palrned. 

2 White apparently dropped in B, but palmed. 

3 Blue apparently dropped in C, but palmed. 

4 Red apparently dropped in A, but palmed. 

5 B ue apparently dropped in C, but palmed. 

6 White apparently dropped in B, but palmed. 


8 3] 

^ d 



R. W. B. 
R. W. B. 
R. W. B. 

Condition after each move. 

a.. ■ ■ 


R. &B. 
R. W. B. 
R. W. B. 

R. & W. 



R. W. 

dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 
dropped in. 


The Egg Ching Ching: 

About the year 1866, Colonel Stodare, a very skillful 
Enghsh conjurer, introduced a little trick with an egg 
and a handkerchief to which he gave the above title It 
proved very successful and Carl Herrmann exhibited it 
some years later at his first performance in New York- 
and afterward his successor, Alexander Herrmann, often 
mcluded It m his program. In its first form, an egg was 



placed in a glass goblet, over which was thrown a large 
handkerchief. Standing at a distance, the performer 
picked up a small square of red silk, which he began to 
gather into his hands. 

When it was completely within his hands they were 
opened, and it was seen that the silk square had disap- 
peared — if that is not a bull — and in the hands was an 
egg— presumably the one placed in the goblet. On re- 
moving the handkerchief from the goblet, the silk square 
was seen in the glass, but the egg had gone. 

The explanation of the trick is simple: the egg that is 
placed in the goblet has been blown, that is, it is nothing 
but an egg-shell, the egg itself having been cleaned out 
by means of two holes, one at each end. By blowing in 
one hole the contents of the egg comes out at the other. 
It is not a pleasant job to prepare such an egg, and for 
that reason many performers use a wooden egg or, what 
is much better, one of celluloid, which is made specially 
for conjurers' use. When the performer is about to 
place the egg into the goblet, it is lying on the large 
handkerchief, which is spread over his left hand. A fine 
black silk thread about four inches long attaches the egg 
to the center of the handkerchief, and between the two 
is the silk square which is folded into as small shape as 
possible and concealed in a half-fold of the handkerchief. 
To fold this properly it is plaited back and forth until 
it is one long strip, and then the strip is plaited in the 
same way until it is about an inch and one-half square. 
Folded in this way, the natural resilience of the silk will 
cause it to open out when released. 

As the performer is about to cover the goblet with the 
handkerchief after the egg is in, he relaxes his hold of 


the silk square and drops that in, also. Back of the 
second square of silk, which is on a table, is concealed a 
hollow metal egg, with an opening on one side. The silk 
square and this egg are picked up together, and as the 
square is drawn into the performer's hands, he works it 
into the hollow egg, which he finally shows to the audi- 
ence, who suppose it to be the egg that was placed in 
the gla^s Going to the goblet, the performer lifts up 
the handkerchief and with it the hollow egg, and shows 
the square of silk, which has, apparently, passed invisibly 
into the glass. 

In place of a hollow metal egg, the performer often 
prepares a real egg. This can be done by soaking the 
egg for some time in strong vinegar. After a while the 
shell will become so soft that it may be cut, without splin- 
tering, by driving a sharp pointed penknife in with 
gentle taps. When the piece is out, the contents are 
scooped out, and the egg is washed out with a weak so- 
lution of carbolic acid, and then lined with a thin coating 
of plaster of paris. Prepared in this way, it is infinitely 
better than any imitation. 

Another and letter method:~An improvement on this 
trick IS to use a drinking-glass, the bottom of which has 
been cut out. This must be done, of course, by a glass- 
cutter or engraver. He should be instructed to leave a 
narrow rim around the bottom, that is, the bottom should 
not be cut close to the edge. 

Provided with such a glass, the performer may use a 
real egg and dispense with the duplicate handkerchief 
as only one is needed. Besides the egg and the handker- 
chief a piece of rather stiff letter-paper is required This 
IS rolled into a cylinder which will fit easily over the 



tumbler, as a cover, and is fastened together with a small 

This method of presenting the trick was planned out 
by the junior editor of this book, and has long been a 
puzzle to many professional conjurers. It is now 
properly explained for the first time. 

Everything being ready, the performer, with an egg 
concealed just under the lowest part of his waistcoat, 
advances to his audience, and begs for the loan of an 
egg. Addressing one of the company, he asks, "Will 
you, sir, accommodate me with a fresh egg?" extending 
his open left hand at the same time. ' ' Thank you ; lay 
it here, please." As the performer leans forward to 
receive it, his right hand goes, naturally, to the bottom 
of his waistcoat and gets hold of the egg. At the same 
time the closed hand moves to the gentleman's mouth, 
and the concealed egg is allowed to show itself at the 
tip of the fingers. It appears as if the egg were taken 
from the mouth. The egg is placed on the table along- 
side a goblet. 

In the next move the performer obtains the handker- 
chief. This he produces "magically," by means of a 
false finger or any one of the many ways. 

He now inverts a glass goblet, placing it mouth down 
on the table, and on the bottom of this he stands the 
bottomless tumbler. "I place this here," he says, "so 
that it may be seen easily, and in it I put the egg which 
the gentleman has lent me." In putting this in, the 
performer is careful to have it rest on the rim which is 
left at the bottom of the glass. ' ' I hope you all can see 
the egg. " As he says this, he picks up the tumbler with 
his right hand and places it on the extended palm of 


and in front of it on hi. fi ^' . ^^'^ *"«^Wer 

kerchief; then piekinTnn T.""' ^^^d- 

tumbler/stil cover d h? ""T ^^^^^ ^^P^y 

inverted gob et Th ' ' «^ 

handkerchie oncea sT ^ hH ""''i''' 

back toward the and . ^e t^rns the hand with its 

together b gin to rdl th'' T'.,'""^^"^ ^-^s 
ball, which he press int' ^^^^ ^ compact 

thereconcealed r , K * ^'^"^ '^^^ ^^^^^ 

angers andllft^ "'^^^^^^^^^ ^ ^ f 

palm to come over he to. " T "^^^ 

A Spherical Paradox, Hot so Clear as It Seems- 

=e.fu. aec„'LfSi„': '"^ its s„e- 

Fig 106 It I. V ' l*e an easel. See 

board „, its Sh'V': 'T '° " 

upri.M board at an/d^ire 1 e'^ :t:Tr 


board is covered with black velvet and ornamented with 
a narrow gilt braid, which divides it into diamonds and 
also forms a frame round the edges, as shown m the il- 
lustration. At the points A and B are holes cut through 
the board. These holes are large enough to admit the 
largest ball used in the trick to pass in and out easily. 
The edges of these holes are carefully covered with the 
velvet, and back of each is a deep pocket of the same 
material. At C and D, are cavities in the board; 
these are loosely covered by the velvet, so that a ball 
will stand on one without rolling off. In addition, there 
is a semicircle of pins or "brads" under each cavity, as 
a rest for a ball. Hanging at the back of the board, 
near the top, is a wire holder of the shape shown m 

The velvet toard. 
Fig. 106 

The wire holder, •with, 
a safety pin at the top. 
Fig. 107 

Fig. 107. This holds a ball firmly and yet allows it to be 
taken away by a mere touch of the fingers. 

2. A clear glass decanter. In the bottom of this a hole 
is cut, and in it is inserted (and cemented with white 
lead) the inverted bowl of a wineglass, large enough to 
hold the ruby glass ball, described below. The stem and 
base of the wineglass are cut off. This forms a "kick," 


that is, the hollow usually found in the bottom of a 
molded glass bottle. 

3. A solid ivory or wooden ball, an inch and a half in 
diameter and stained red. 

4 Two thin brass shells in the shape of a half-ball 
each large enough to admit a little more than half of 
he sohd ball These are japanned red; they are made 
like a box and its lid, so as to shut together closely and 
yet not be too tight to open easily. A tiny bit of chamois 
leather glued on the inside center of each shell deadens 
any sound that might be heard when the solid ball is 
placed inside. 

• '^'T: °' ''^'^^^ i^ch and three- 

eighths m diameter. 

^^6. A ruby glass ball of the same size as the crystal 

7. A small, clear glass ball, half-an-inch in diameter. 

■ _ When the performer begins the trick, the velvet board 
IS standing slightly tilted, on the table, the large crys- 
tal glass ball IS m the wire holder at the back. The two 
shells, one over the other, are under the front of the 
performer s waistcoat at the right of the center. The 

bttle pocket sewed on the back of the trousers leg, where 
the right hand can easily reach them. They are hidden 

sleeve' '"^ '''''' '^ '^ ^Tgl^ 

The decanter, which stands on a second table, is filled 
with a solution of extract of logwood 

The performer holds one end of his wand in his right 
hand, the other end resting lightly in his left palm Ad- 
dressing his audience, he says have here my wand " 



holding it up, "which many imagine is only for show. 
I assure you that is a mistake. When I want anything 
I squeeze the end of this magic stick, and I get what I 
want. " As he says this, he holds up the wand with his 
left hand, and, simultaneously dropping his right, the 
ball in his sleeve drops into his palm, where it is held 
concealed. Then bringing that hand, with the back to- 
ward the audience, to the wand, he slides the thumb and 
fingers along the stick to the other end and at the same 
time rolls the ball with his thumb to the finger tips, so 
that just as the end of the wand is reached the ball will 
come in sight, making it appear to the audience as if 
he had just taken it out, as shown in Fig. 108. "See," 

he continues, ' ' a solid ball. Examine it, please. ' ' When 
it has been examined to the satisfaction of the audience, 
the performer takes it back with his right hand, and as 
he returns to his stage his left hand reaches under his 
vest and takes out the two shells; then his hands are 

rig. 108 

brought together and he inserts the ball into the lower 

When he reaches the stage he faces his audience. 
See he says, "I take this ball, and by a simple move- 

Te s-r ' ''r h'^^'' ^'^^ '^^^ tie 

same size. As he pretends to do this, the performer 
move, hands from side to side, lifts the top s^eU 

ftefin t ^"^^^^^^^ ^he thum'b and 

forefinger, holding the convex side of the shell toward 

with the solid ball still inside, and holds it in the same 
posi ion as the first shell. They look like two solid baUs 
feee, he says, -what one may come to, if handled 

foZ'^'n^^"'"' ^ t^^^d will come 

lorth Once more moving his hands from side to side 
he gets ou the solid bail and holds the three together in 
a trianguar shape. "This position," he continues 
suggests the symbolic sign, M^j Uncle. Again, pass one' 
th way and one that way, and we have only the original 
ban remaining." As he moves his hands right and lef 
in front of his body, he slips the solid ball into one sheU 

" T w TI-^'l «lo«es them. 

I will stand this here," he says, as he places the ball at 
^. Can you see it distinctly?" he asks. "Let me tilt 
the board more." As his hand goes behind the board he 
grasps the large glass ball and holds it conceaied 
Agam I take this solid ball, and squeezing it just a 
ittle produce this ball of solid crystal." Here he lets 
the glass ball come in sight and replaces the shells con- 
tammg the solid ball on the board, at C "It is as 
though the ball had wept and this were a tear. I wii 



stand it here." He places the glass ball on the board at 
D, and turns to his audience. 

"So far," he says, "everything has gone along all 
right. Now for another effect. I take this ball in my 
left hand and close the hand around it." As he pre- 
tends to do this he drops the shells with the hall into the 
hole at A. "The crystal ball," he continues, "I place 
on top of my fist over the other ball, ' ' suiting the action 
to the word, "and opening my hand a little, I allow the 
crystal ball to pass down into the other. You naturally 
imagine that the larger will absorb the smaller. On the 
contrary, the crystal ball has swallowed the other. Just 
the reverse of what you expected." He shows the glass 
ball and his empty hands. 

"On this table," he says, pointing to the side table, 
"I have a decanter of port — the real Ottoman Porte, 
you've read about. The wine inside is proof that the 
decanter is perfect. No traps in that. I now propose 
to show you how to make one solid body pass through 
another ; the crystal ball through the neck of the decanter 
into the wine." While the attention of the audience is 
directed to the decanter, the performer takes the small 
glass ball from his back pocket and holds it concealed 
in his right hand, just at the root of his second and third 
fingers, by slightly closing those fingers. He picks up 
the large glass ball. " Ah, it is too large, " he says : "I 
will break off a piece." He pretends to do so, and shows 
the small ball. ' ' Ah, I fear the sphere is now too small. 
I can not keep the piece. I shall put it back." Palm- 
ing the small ball in his right hand, he presses his finger 
tips on the larger one, and as the small ball has disap- 
peared the audience imagine it has gone whence it came. 


on"jj 'TS'"^^' )l tall 

takes the glass ball fmm +1. ^^^^7^^- He apparently 

«mpty, haiid over the mouth oflt,/^ ! '"^ 
•■Pa.," Ai, eye. 

him an ODDortnm-+Tr +^ ^ ^, uecanter, and this gives 
"Yes, the~'Csf; " ''''T 

of the wine. C„' I sa^" L^fr I' "'"'^^^^^ 
with his left hanri >,;r'-\! ^' ^^'""^ decanter 
bottle and fierts iht balf 

if a sound be heard Jh. ;- '^'''^ ^''^""''^ «° t^^* 

by the ballt -r A : t t^the ^^"^^^ 

the ball to drop "m^t T i 

be asks. "None, of ^uLe it 

because it is pure JSt nfV ^ ^^^t' 

practice, and, second ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ of 

being of clear crv.fT decanter 

flatter my elf there f/^'?.-'^ ^'^^^^^ I 
myselt there is nothing else to see through." 1 

whiJh wiS i ^ea^or't °' "Black Art Table" 


To Make a Handkerchief Disappear from the Hands : 

In this little trick the handkerchief that is to disappear 
is seen up to the last moment. The requisites for the 
trick are very simple, merely a small silk handkerchief 
and a little piece of the same silk, which is held con- 
cealed at the root of the thumb and forefinger of the left 
hand. In exhibiting the trick, the performer pulls up 
his sleeves, folding over the left sleeve so as to form a 
sort of pocket. Taking the handkerchief by one corner 
he rolls it into a ball, which he pretends to put in his left 
hand, but really palms in his right At the same time 
he takes the little piece that is concealed at the root of 
the thumb and brings it up above the thumb and fore- 
finger of his closed left fist. The audience will suppose 
they see the corner of the handkerchief. Then under 
pretence of adjusting his left sleeve he slips the balled 
handkerchief under the fold of the sleeve and leaves it 
there. The hands are now brought together and after 
rubbing them together for a moment the little piece 
which is now rolled into a tiny ball is replaced in its 
hiding place. Then the hands are shown, back and face, 
apparently empty. This is a very pretty and deceptive 

The Stretched Handkerchief: 

Let us suppose the two upper corners of a handker- 
chief, when held up before one, are marked A and B, 



"Weft iziiTz' r "-'i^- 

with the thumb anH «... ^ ^nd C 

forefinger be^^g between tie foT ^.''^ 
B and D in the sarnl Z ^^"^ holds 

chief around and ar uld'^he 1 T"""^ 
Wben it has as^^d ^ is shlT th"'° ' T °' ^P^" 
theJefthandreIea.P. A l-r .f' ^ ^^^^^r of 

grasps C. Then d T. '''' '^""^^ f^-^-ger 

finger of the rShf hlr/r .T^ '^'^"^^ fore- 
chief is now hXd by dt'o n °' ^^^ker- 
performer be^in. fn '^ "^""^"^ "^P"^^*^ ^^^^^s- The 
Every" L whl e h! ^^^^^^^^ief to stretch 

to an, appareX CinftS^^^^^ ' ' " 
The Handkerchief With Seven Corners: 


have to answer hilpL;::: ' '''' 
Just for the moment you ma v see anW f 
says, .bu, the others lill Jon be " 
To begin he ties two corners of fh. i. ^, 
aether, and covers them w^ the rl.t oTtTI. 
ch^ef, and asks some lady to hold il! t ! 
ties two other corners r,u^s thn / '^^^^ 



others remaining. These he ties and puts them with the 
four. "You have six now, as you can feel," he says, 
addressing the lady who holds the knot, "and yet here 
is a seventh. ' ' This he asks her to take hold of, but re- 
quests that she drop it when he counts three. "Here 
goes," he says, "one, two, three!" She drops it, and 
as the magic spell is broken by her action, the handker- 
chief resumes its original form. 

A large handkerchief is necessary for this trick. To 
begin, the performer ties two corners with a slip knot. 
In this he really ties the end of one handkerchief round 
the other and does not tie them together. This so-called 
knot may be made very tight, and even when one end is 
withdrawn the folds of the other will be preserved and 
if felt through a handkerchief will seem to be a genuine 
knot. In the trick now under consideration just as the 
lady is asked to hold the knots, the performer draws out 
one of the corners, and the lady will hold only the sem- 
blance of a knot. Three corners will be left, and the per- 
former takes two, knots them in the style ,of the others, 
and puts them under the handkerchief to be held. In do- 
ing so he again releases one corner. The audience believe 
that four of the corners are now held by the lady, while 
there are only two, and two corners are hanging down, 
which the performer calls numbers five and six. He 
again goes through the same operation, and still leaves 
one corner hanging down. " Ah ! " he says, "here is the 
seventh. ' ' Of this he takes hold and counts as described ; 
the lady lets go, and he shows the handkerchief with 
its original four corners. 

For a description of the Slip Knot see Appendix. 

The Mysterious Knots: 

First Method. Three silk handkerchiefs are thrown 
over the back of a chair. Picking them up, one by oTe 
with the left hand and transferring them the rig^ ' 

Fig. 109 

the performer throws them in the air, and when thev 
J^ig. 109. To fasten these together a tiny, thin rubber 

Fig. 110 

Se'theTf ^ """Z^ ' ^^^^ handkerchief 

before the three are thrown in the air. Again they are 

anT whe^t^^^' '^^^ ^^'^^^ ^'^^^ < 

tin thai it ^^"l *° '''' b^-d in such posi- 

tion that t may be easily and readily slipped on the 
handl^rehiefs ^ pi,,, ^^^J as shown L 

Fig. 110, will be found very useful. It consists of 



a little brass plate, measuring one and one-half inches 
square, having four arms, an inch in length, one at each 
corner, and it is over these arms that the band is 
stretched. On the reverse side of the plate are four 
strong pins, so that it may be stuck on the back of a 
chair, as near the top as possible. The handkerchiefs 
are thrown over the back of the chair, and as the per- 
former picks them up, his first and second fingers go 
into the band and after that his thumb also is put inside, 
and he is now prepared to slip the band on the corners 
of the handkerchiefs at any moment. 

Second Method. Three handkerchiefs of different 
colors are tied together with a slip knot, made as fol- 
lows : The corners of two handkerchiefs, A and B, are 
taken between the thumb and first finger of the left hand, 

A B 

Fig. 1 

as shown in Fig. 111. With the right hand the cor- 
ner B is turned down so that it hangs between the first 
and second fingers of the left hand. It is then turned to 
the left, and the first finger is withdrawn from the loop 




thus formed. Corner A is now turned to the right, and 
when the corners meet again at the other side of the' loop 
(nearest the body) they are tied together. The knot so 
formed may be undone with a slight pull. When the 
three handkerchiefs are tied together in this way, they 
are laid on a table with the knots in position, as shown 
in Fig. 112. They are then placed close together. The 

audience, of course, know nothing of these preparations. 
The handkerchiefs lying on the table, as in Fig. 112, 
are picked up with the left hand concealing the knots j 
the ends being entirely free gives them the appearance 
of three unconnected handkerchiefs. They are rolled 
into a ball and thrown in the air, and when they fall, 
it is seen that they are tied together in a long string! 
Then they are crumpled up once more, the knots are 
released by a slight pull, and when they are again 
thrown in the air, they come down separately. 

The Transit of Old Glory: 

This brilliant little trick has the great advantage that 
It is as well suited for the drawing-room, that is for 
exhibition in a private house or at a club, as for the 
stage. The performer comes forward with half a sheet 
of note-paper in one hand. "I have here," he says, "a 

Fig. 112 


piece of paper, the product of that great magician, the 
paper-maker, who turns beggars' rags into sheets for 
editors to lie on. There is nothing concealed here, as 
you may see," he turns the paper, so as to show it back 
and front. "But see! I roU it up for a moment." 
Suiting the action to the word, he rolls the paper till 
it is about the thickness of a tinger, "and now, tearing 
It in two, this little flag appears." He spreads out the 
flag and crumpling up the paper, throws it aside 
"Pretty isn't it? It's small, but it covers a lot of 
ground." Throwing the flag over the back of a chair, 
he picks up two silk handkerchiefs, a red and a dark 
blue, ties a corner of one to a corner of the other, 
bunches them together, and places them in an empty 
goblet. "So far, so good," he continues. "Now, let 
me show you this pocket." He turns out the right side 
pocket of his trousers. "Empty! like every conjurer's 
pockets." He puts it back in place, and rolling up his 
right sleeve, so that nothing can be concealed there, 
slowly puts the little flag into the empty pocket. "See 
what I shall do. By simply repeating certain incanta- 
tions, handed down to us from the days of Nostradamus, 
I shall cause the flag to leave my pocket and take its 
place between the handkerchiefs now tied together. And 
this without hiding the goblet from your sight for one 
moment. Listen! Chiddy biddy lee, chiddy hiddy hi, 
cMddy Uddy lo. (And let us say, parenthetically, that 
when you are versed in these mysteries, other words 
may be substituted for these.) And now you will please 
observe that my pocket is empty." 

As he says this, he pulls out the pocket, and to his 
surprise and mortification the flag comes out with it. 

"Dear I" J-oy 

Ah! how stupid of Z If^ZtT'" 

Bece^ary wherewithal in /J . ^'""^ 

He replaces the flat in hi f expenses." 

take a piece of moZ Lt j^ '. ^^^^^^^^^ ^o 

it in the pocket tW 7 T '"^''^^'^"^ P^'^^^et he puts 

each handkerchiefin the goblet f? of 
jerk and a shake, shows that ti!;"' T"' ''^"^ ^ ^^^^P 
between the handkerchief^ a^d f I ? ^^^^^ 
Again turning his poeket T ^ ""^^ ^''^^ to them. 

X'lr-l-"^^^^^^^^^ he 

— w bag, as near t s fpTof " ' 

rounded and closed «t 1 ! ^« Possible, 

Into this he gen ly the other 

this be placed betie tr ^ '^'^^ '^^^^ ^^g. If 

the i^niz' 'Tz iz::ztr.' ^^^'^^ «^ 

It will be a keen-eved nr,. I f *° '^^^ other 

the performer hastfZr'efi ^^^^t that 

When rolling up the Teet 7".'''^ ^^^^"^^^ to. 

round the hfndld the "It ^^^^^^ 

Tearing the note-panerTr, f !. ^^^t inside. 

— up pairrlrntirn fslT ^ 

only to be carefully picked uv lTJ I I ™°°^'°t, 



may be substituted for the one of tissue paper, and with 
it an additional effect may be produced. This finger is 
rolled in the paper as already described. By giving 
the paper a fillip with a finger the flag will gradually 
make its appearance at the open end, crawling up, as it 
were. When it is entirely out, the performer presses 
the paper together, keeping the false finger inside. The 
paper is then crumpled up and disposed of as told. 
Before the flag is put into the pocket the first time it 
is rolled into a ball. The second time the performer 
pushes it with his right thumb into the upper part of 
the pocket near the band of the trousers, and as far 
toward the center of the band as possible. The other 
fingers go down toward the bottom of the pocket. "With 
the flag so stowed away, the pocket may be turned in- 
side out, and will appear to be empty. 

Opposite one corner of the blue handkerchief a square 

Fig. 113 

of the same silk, measuring three and a half inches, is 
sewed so as to make a pocket, with the opening toward 
the corner and about two and a half inches from it. A 
triangular-shaped piece of the same blue silk, five inches 
long and three inches wide at its greatest width is sewed 
to the corner A of the flag, while the corner B is sewed 
on to the blue handkerchief, between the mouth of the 



pocket and the corner, as shown in Fig. 113. Into the 
pocket the flag is tucked, beginning with the corner C, 
leaving the end of the triangular piece sticking out. 

When these preparations are completed the trick may 
be shown. 

Picking up the blue handkerchief with his left hand 
the performer holds it so that its folds conceal the pocket 
and its contents. Then taking the red handkerchief in 
his right hand he, apparently, ties one corner of it to a 
corner of the other. In reality, however, the actual 
corner of the blue handkerchief is folded back and held 
down behind the fingers of the left hand, and in its 
stead the triangular piece of blue silk that sticks out 
of the pocket is tied to the red handkerchief with two 
knots ; as soon as the first knot is made, the actual corner 
of the blue handkerchief is brought up from behind the 
fingers and the second knot is tied over it (as shown in 
the illustration. Fig. 114) , and tied tightly, thus keeping 

Fig. 114 

!= Pi5 4°?*'!'^ '[nes represent the corner of the blue handkerchief, which 
IS folded into the two knots. 

the flag securely in the pocket. Then the performer 
wraps the two handkerchiefs together and puts them in 
a goblet with a corner of each hanging out. At the 
proper moment he grasps these corners and giving them 


a quick Jerk the flag is pulled out of the pocket and is 
seen tied apparently, between the two handkerchiefs 

instead of a prepared handkerchief and flag, as 
described some conjurers rely on an exchange of pack 
ages, and when skilfully carried out this is much the 
inore artistic way. For such an exchange, a small shelf 
^ hung at the back of a chair. On this lies a package 
niade up of a red and a blue handkerchief with a flag 
tied between them, care being taken that the flag is con 
cealed withm the folds of the handkerchiefs. Alongside 
the shelf IS a small black bag, its mouth being held 
open by a wire run round it in a seam. In showing the 
trick the performer deliberately and actually ties the 
two handkerchiefs together at one corner and rolls them 
into a package similar to the one on the shelf The 
flag used in the trick is lying on the back of the' chair 
and as the performer picks it up with his right hand 
las left, that holds the original package, passes for a 
econd only behind the chair, but in that time it grips 
the shelf package and drops the original into the bag. 
There is no hesitation, no waiting, but in the twinkling 
ot an eye the change is made. 

A Succession of Surprises by Le Professeur Magicus 
(Adolphe Blind) : ^ 

The performer hands out for examination a goblet and 
a cardboard cylmder large enough to go over the goblet 
and serve as a cover. When they are returned to him 
he covers the goblet with the cylinder. Suddenly a red 
silk handkerchief appears in his hands and just as sud- 

handkerchief is seen m the goblet. The performer takes 



it out and hands it for examination, and then replaces it 
in the goblet, which he again covers. A moment later he 
takes the handkerchief from his trousers pocket, and 
shows that the goblet is empty. So he continues, causing 
the handkerchief to leave the goblet and return to it, 
finding it alternately under his collar, in the pocket of 
one of the audience, and in various other places. At 
the conclusion goblet and cylinder are once more handed 
out for examination. 

The "properties" for the trick consist of :— 

A. A goblet of clear cut glass, about six inches in 
height and three inches in diameter. The sides are cut 
with perpendicular lines. 

B. A well of transparent glass, about three inches in 
height, that fits loosely in the goblet. At the top, which 
is three inches in diameter, it flares out so that it will 
rest on the edge of the goblet. 

C. A plate of brass, silver-plated and highly polished. 
This is a trifle shorter than the well and fits it snug at 
the sides. 

p. A cardboard cylinder, three and a half inches in 
height and three and an eighth inches in diameter. One 
end is closed, but has a hole in it large enough to admit 
the performer's forefinger. The other end is open. 

The brass plate C is placed in the well B, and a hand- 
kerchief is dropped on one side of it. Other handker- 
chiefs are disposed of in the various places from which 
they are to be taken afterwards. Then B is placed in- 
side of the cylinder. 

When these preparations are made, the performer is 
ready for his trick. He begins by handing out the gob- 
let. When it is returned, he stands it on his table. Then 



picking up the cylinder, which is lying on its side, he 
thrusts his forefinger through the hole in the top, so as to 
secure the well B, and covers the goblet, remarking at 
the same time, "This is a little cover for the goblet." 
Almost immediately he lifts off the cylinder, being care- 
ful to have the handkerchief turned toward himself, and 
continuing says, "Please look at this and assure your- 
selves that it is not prepared in any way." As he re- 
moves D he leaves B in the goblet. The trick is now 
virtually done. 

The first handkerchief is made to appear and disap- 
pear by any of the methods described elsewhere. In 
lifting up the goblet, from time to time, he gives it a 
half-turn, bringing the handkerchief that is in the well 
in sight or causing it to disappear. How to make a 
handkerchief appear or vanish from the trousers pocket 
has already been explained on page 190. 

At the conclusion, B and C are allowed to drop into 
a padded box at the back of the performer's table, and 
then cover and goblet are handed out for a final ex- 

M. Blind also favors us with another trick which he 

The Three Handkerchiefs: 

When the performer begins there are on his table three 
cut glass tumblers and three silk handkerchiefs, a red, a 
white, and a blue. When the handkerchiefs have been 
examined, so that the people of the audience may be 
satisfied they are not double nor prepared in any way, 
each is dropped into a separate tumbler. The tumbler 
containing the blue handkerchief is placed on a little 


pedestal so that it may more easily be seen and over 
he mouth is laid a plain glass diskf Just"!:;; 
in diameter than the top of the tumbler. On thi^ fhe 
performer stands the tumbler that contains th whHe 
handkerchief and covers it with a second disk and on 

^^roT: -^'^^ i-dter 

eniet Over this pyramid of tumblers is dropped a card 

thTf enough to covet 

the tumblers completely. 

Waving his hands over the pyramid and repeating 
some cabalistic words, the performer lifts the tube anS 
to the wonder of the audience it is seen that the tumblers 
have changed their positions. The one with he blue 
handkerchief is on top, the one with the red is n the 

The tumblers are now placed in their original posi 
ta: the one with the red handkerchief on top that 
with the white in the middle, and the third with th; Wue 
^ndkerchief at the bottom. They are covered ag L 
the tumb, : - t-ken off" 

iSlrftno ;'"f ' P^^^^^ -^^te hand: 

.J^^l^'T the one containing 

tt "d . the one S 

the red handkerchief in the middle, and the one Z th 
the blue handkerchief on top A.,L ,Z , 
with the tube and when it isllZ ^ X^^^^^^^^^ 
another change has occurred. The glass t^a wa ' nT^^^^ 
now m the middle, the one that was in the i^d 11p 

top. To conclude, the glasses are arranged so that 



the blue handkerchief is on top, the red in the middle 
and the white at the bottom. For the last time the tube 
is slipped over them and when it is taken off the glasses 
are seen to be in their original positions. 

As our readers may guess, each of the tumblers has a 
polished, plated brass partition like that described in the 
preceding trick, the edges being concealed by the pattern 
cut on the glass. Behind the mirror that is to hold the 
red handkerchief is concealed a blue handkerchief; back 
of the partition in the tumbler intended for the white 
handkerchief is a red one, and back of the third tumbler, 
a white handkerchief. 

The tube is without preparation, but the pedestal on 
which the tumblers stand has for its top a disk that 
revolves on a pivot. A black silk thread operated by a 
concealed assistant causes this to make a half revolution, 
in this way turning the tumblers just as the performer 
is covering the tumblers with the tube. 

"With a little study the ingenious conjurer may ar- 
range the pedestal so that he can turn it himself and 
dispense with the aid of an assistant. A pedestal might 
be made to resemble a box, which would be a very natural 
thing for a performer to use. The revolving disk might 
be arranged where the lid would be. 

A Silk Handkerchief Placed in a Cornucopia Disappears, 
and is Found Tied Around a Candle: 

A candle and candlestick, entirely without prepara- 
tion, are shown for examination, and, afterward, the 
candle is placed in the candlestick, which is stood upon 
a table. 

A large handkerchief is then thrown over the candle. 


former's wand nnri i". ^ 1,1. ''^^ Per- 

i« then clZT/Z l Z T:^ cornucopia, which 

with the reqt ^that h! '^"'""^^ *° 

A ni«t J ■ T V ^ the trick. 

empty. The ^6 ^™^, " i" 

and ti n,i:4r;rst:::t v-^^".' 

the candle. '^^ '^^ ^^^d round 

ni:'" '°"»™^ "Propertta" are 

An unprepared candle 

A candlestick, also unprepared 

A small pin. 

Jal'ES;';-^^^^^^^ — ^^-t fourteen inches 
a little patch of fhP ''n* ^^^^^ i« «ewed 
dollar! of a quarter- 

t.a1 rrfl^^^^^^^^^^^^^ - -hth inches Ion, 

side with a piece of thp r n '"''^'"''^ ^^^t- 

chiefs. Around thk f V ''^^ ^^^^ handker- 

has no path on it " " handkerchief that 

inetrtge^' "''^^'"^ P^^^^' S^-- ^7 twenty 

of th^n^tl^l^:^r ^^^^^^ °- is a piece 

eter and about sWn in'r T"*'' °' ^^'^^ ^iam- 
closed. The otC I'rrL : f ^^^^ is 

around with black ta"e at the t7' '''^ 

tape, at the top is a small piece of 



wood, painted black ; at the bottom, the wire is fitted into 
a pear-shaped piece of brass, that goes into a piece of 
brass tubing, three-quarters of an inch long, the same as 
used for the first part of the wand. This tubing is closed 
at the lower end. When the wire is placed inside the 
long tube, and the whole is pushed close, it resembles an 
ordinary wand. See Fig. 115. Every part of it is 
black, the outside of a mat or dull color. 

l_J LJ 4 5 

12 3 Yig. 116 

Fig. 115 
No. 1 is the -wand complete. 
No. 2 is the long piece of tubing 
which forms the outside. No. 3 
is the wire that goes inside No. 2. 

On one side of the candle, at about the center, is stuck 
the pin,, so that it projects about a quarter of an inch. 
Around the silk-covered piece of tubing is tied the red 
handkerchief, as seen in Fig. 116. The loose ends are 
brought up and tucked inside the tubing at the top, as 
shown in Fig. 116. The candle and candlestick, to- 
gether with the wand, the piece of paper, the red silk 
handkerchief, with the patch, and the large handker- 


chief, that is to cover the candle are on a table. Behind 
the latter and hidden by it is the prepared piece of 
tubing. This large handkerchief ought to be about 
eighteen inches square, and of thin green silk with a 
colored pattern running through it. A white hand- 
kerchief is apt to show something of the red handker- 
chief around the candle, but with the green it is invisible. 

The Cornucopia. 

To begin the trick, the performer shows the candlestick 
and the candle, without allowing them to be handled, 
being careful to hide the pin. Then he puts the candle 
in the candlestick, which he places on a table. 

Picking up the green handkerchief, he simultaneously 
palms the prepared tubing in his right hand. The large 
handkerchief is shown, front and back, and is then 
thrown over the candle. In doing this the performer's 
thumbs are about six inches apart and are on top of the 
handkerchief, with the fingers underneath. See Fig. 117. 
Under cover of the handkerchief, he seizes the prepared 



tubing, in the right palm, with the first and third fingers 
of the left hand, his right hand fingers helping him to 

hafd\\Telef^roS/|i'th'l*Io1.'^ '''' fi"^"^' ^'^"^ -d. of the 

hold it. He is careful to keep the tubing erect, with the 
part into which the ends of the red handkerchief are 

■ u ^'S. 118 

thf candl?. ^''"^ °^ t^^^^g beld when about to slip it over 

tucked at the top. As he covers the candle, he slips the 
tubing over it. See Fig. 118. The ends of the tucked- 


edge rests on the 1 ThenT T-"''' 

cornucopia; when pronerW . ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ 

or twenty inches Cg' w^^^^^^^^^ 

inches in diameter SpT "^''^ '^'^ ^^^^^ ^^^r 

inches. ' '™ W end a few 

f opia, of the lower end of the wand so that it Zl^ 
mmde, when the outer nart nf ! " 

So that the two parts mat ! '''''^ ^""'^'^ 

Hiay be drawn out f rS7, /'f' f"'^' 

-d is Mach, z::::^:^:'::^::;^^' -^^^^ 
he ptrxijh tt tt - 

fenot seen. °^ ^"^'^'^ ^^^ience, the fake 

Picking up the red handkerchief he lav. th. . 
.the open end of the wand and holds it n r.! 
right hand. Taking thP nn.. ^^^"^^ ^^is 

pushes the handkSt n to itT ^« 
end of the wire fake will^^r Ifo^'e:^^^^^^^^^ 
He presses the wand dowr, « lu+i ^^^d. 

ha.«, to llrTe 2 a^jf ""^'^ 

ment he releases hi. hnM T V ^O" 
expand an?ffl\':f„;;,'^^^^^^^ .B wi„ 

Pletely coneealtog the wire fSe f,! =om- 
sMe ot the comLnia Thiu^ f P"'"* *<! open 
The performer's St han? v^ l"™"''' """i^e. 
0* .he eorn^o^iitrhtr^^Se^ 

" "™ '°<'^- He preset ZTZl 



slowly, thus working tlie handkerchief further into it, 
and, finally, turns the open end of the cornucopia up- 
ward and presses the wand down all the way, close on 
the fake. As the handkerchief is now out of sight, he 
removes the wand from the cornucopia, which he closes, 
by folding over the top, and gives to some one to hold. 

Then follows the firing of the pistol, as already de- 
scribed, the tearing apart of the cornucopia, and the 
revealing of the red handkerchief, apparently tied 
around the candle, as shown in Fig. 119. 

Fig. 119 

The effect of the trick may be heightened, by allowing 
the audience, at the beginning of the trick, to select a 
handkerchief from a lot of four, each of a different color. 


The selection is made by the cast of a die, as explained 
on page 31. 

A correspondent ol L' Illusionist e, M. Caroly's interest- 
ing httle magazine, suggests an improvement on the 
wand used m his trick, which commends itself by its 
simplicity. It consists of a tube of black hard rubber 
or other material, of the size of the ordinary wand used 
by the conjurer, with ivory or silver-plated ferrules or 
caps at the ends, so that it may look as much like a 
wand as possible. One ferrule is closed at the end the 
other IS open, giving free access to the interior of the 
tube. In the center of the closed end is a tiny hole 
through which runs a fine, black silk thread about one 
yard and a half in length, leaving equal lengths at each 
end of the tube. The end of the silk at the closed end 
of the wand is fastened to the front edge of the table- 
the other end is tied to the center of the handkerchief 
that IS to disappear. Both handkerchief and tube lie on 
the table. When the cornucopia is formed, the per- 
former standing back of the table drops the handker- 
chief into It, so all may see it, and as if to push it 
further m he picks up the wand and inserts the open 
end m the mouth of the cornucopia. Then holding it 
up with one hand and the wand with the other he walks 
backward a step or two, when the end of the thread 
that IS fastened to the table will, naturally draw the 
handkerchief up into the tube. 


An Adhesive Nut: 

When the nuts are brought on the table after dinner, 
the performer picks up a walnut and holding it between 
his thumb and the second and third fingers, with the fore- 
finger on the top, he rubs it up and down on his sleeve 
for a few minutes in order, as he says, to generate 
electricity. Then he removes all but the forefinger to 
which the nut is seen to adhere. The reason is plain. 
The rubbing on the sleeve was, as may be supposed, 
merely a ruse to give the performer an opportunity to 
separate the two shells at the top. It is into this open- 
ing that the performer presses the skin of the forefinger, 
and thus holds the nut suspended, as shown in Fig. 120. 

Fig. 120 

Should there be an opportunity it is well to separate 
the shells slightly at the top before attempting the 
trick, as some nuts do not give way readily except 
under very strong fingers. 



An Elusive Ring: 

cent': 'of ? t tf ' the 

thread, thulf omin. f 1 S^' ^^ort 
a cheap tler nZ' w7' ^^^^ - 

he select. ^ .Un ^« '^^^^^d on for a trick, 

and in its place nnf« i, • "^"^ .^^"i^i' out keeps it 

trough the" h^dCwe W hTL"""' 

Giving the soMet to . „ J, i ^""^ ™ "i^tle- 

the rinf (alwa^t Cm' f o^sidT oltt^-^^r '''' 
rowed ring between the tips of ht , t ^""^ 
second fingers he nick. Z\T , ""^^ ^""^ ^^^^ 

gathering the corner. % . Then 

^ake a bag Lto wh h L t "^f '''''''''' ^« 

it to a third lady w th th ^^^^s 

corners tightly to 'eS r T ^^^^s the 

proachestLlL^wt hoIdJ^^^^^^^^^ ^P" 

"When I say th^r bp l ^^'""^ «^y« = 
into the glasi te'twoThS '" 

ring as requested anrl J . ^^ops the 

j.e tap, thi rL°?: 'z:iTt 

chief, and shows th.t ti, , ' °* handkep- 

Wi. asked tTopen the ntS " 'T'' ™' 
*e flnds the ri„, Cide " "^r ' 't! T""" 
madam, but will y„u kiadlv h„nT,r^ * """^ 
=0 that she ™. fdentif;t 'Thlk7„'uT.*° 



A Borrowed Bank Note that is Destroyed by Tearing or 
Burning is Found Imbedded in a Lemon : 

This trick is frequently exhibited at a dinner party 
or in some public place where a lemon may be procured. 
The performer has the nail of his right thumb quite long 
and trimmed to a sharp edge. With this he cuts a hole 
in one end of a lemon, and in it he thrusts his forefinger. 
To do this without being seen he puts the lemon into 
his trousers pocket, while some one of the audience is 
taking the number of the borrowed bank note, so that 
it may be identified readily. As the performer is look- 
ing on, his hand goes into the pocket and does the cutting. 
As he takes the lemon out, which has been marked in 
some way at the beginning of the trick, he brings with 
it an imitation bank note (professionally known as 
"stage money") folded up. The lemon he lays on the 
table, and as the real bank note is returned to him he 
joins the imitation note to it, and folds it till the two 
notes look alike. Then he places the dummy note along- 
side the lemon and palms the original. Picking up the 
lemon, he applies a lighted match to the stage money, 
and while he watches it bum, his hands naturally go 
behind his back, which enables him to push the genuine 
note into the lemon. By this time the other note is 
destroyed. Gathering the ashes, he rubs them on the 
lemon, and then proceeds to cut it open at the perfect 
end. As soon as the bank note is seen he goes to its 
owner and asks him to take it out and identify it, 
reading aloud its number. 

Some performers use an imitation bank note that is 
printed on flash paper. This disappears the moment 
it is lighted. 


thJolTA'^ ' ^T"" " '"'"^^ "PP^^ be used. In 
this ease two apples, alike in size and general anne^. 
aBce, are used. In one of these a holT i tt 'we' 
enough to the borrowed note. This app ; i T 
the trousers pocket. Under the performer's ves or 
under h.s coat lapel is a small packet of flash paper 

borrows th b't W ^^'^^^ ^^^^ P^'^-r 
borrows the bank note he wraps it in a piece of tissue 

paper and getting hold of the flash paper'packet bring 

the two packets together and exchanges one for the other 

The flash paper he asks some lady to hold. As he goes 

and the bank note packet is pushed into the cut apple 

I the"mV'';V\''^" '^^'^^ examinaW 
In the meanwhile he palms the other, and as he goes 
back to his table, ostensibly for a knife/he puts the good 

pane; TaS.l "^^^^^^ ^^^y who holds the flash 
it^rL T?^ • lights it. Whiff, 

^t IS gone. Hurrying to his table, he cuts open the apple' 
beginning to pare it at the perfect part. L soon as the 

anThands't t:1;n: The^ aVjJif b" ^t^"^^^' 
lays on a nl«tp , i,- ■ ^^^^ crushes and 

iays on a plate which he carries off as soon as possible 
_ Each form of the trick has its advantages ThTr! 
;n which the lemon is used is the more brfu ant as tZ 
emon may be marked for identification ; whfle' in h 
nse of the apple, the bank note is not soilld hv 
•l-oe, which is sometimes objected to. 



A Disappearing Knife : 

While seated at the table after dinner, the performer 
picks up a knife, and wraps it up in a handkerchief, 
part oi the blade projecting from below. See Fig. 121. 

rig. 121 

Holding the packet in his right hand, and standing up, 
he calls attention to the blade. With his left hand he 
pushes the blade up into the handkerchief until it can 
no longer be seen. Then taking hold of the two upper 
corners of the handkerchief, he shakes it, and shows both 
sides. The knife has vanished. 

The handkerchief is double, that is, two handkerchiefs, 
exactly alike, are sewed together around the edges On 
the mside of one is a pocket, with the open side toward 
the edge of the handkerchief. In this pocket is hung 
part of a knife-blade, in the upper part of which is 
drilled a hole through which a strong thread runs, the 
ends being fastened to the bottom of the pocket The 
thread is of such length that the blade will be drawn en- 
tirely mside the pocket when the upper ends of the hand- 
kerchief are held. See Fig. 121. To hold the real knife 
there is a black bag long enough to conceal it. The bag 
hangs on the performer's back between the vest and the 



coat and reaches nearly to his waist. The month of this 
bag IS held open by a wire ring (a large key-ring will 
do perfectly) and attached to this are two elastic cords 

Fig. 122 

These go over the performer's shonlders throngh the arm 
holes of the vest, and the ends are fastened to the front 
snspender buttons of the trousers. Before beginning the 
tnck the performer, seated, gets this bag between his legs 
and holds the ring between his knees. When he has cov- 
ered the knife with the handkerchief, he draws the packet 
near the edge of the table and allows the knife to slide 
m o the bag. The suspended blade which now proiects 
below the handkerchief holds the attention of the audi 
ence and deceives them. When the performer stands up 
the elastics draw the bag up under his coat and all that 
chS?r handlcer- 
the pocket '"^ ^'^^ i^to 

A duplicate knife, which the performer has slipped 
mto some one 's pocket may then be produced, and shown 
as It it were the original. 

A Match Trick: 

This is a good after-dinner trick. Showing his 
hands empty, the performer takes a few matches from 



a box, and wraps them up in a handkerchief. The next 
moment he shakes the handkerchief and the matches have 
vanished. They are afterwards produced from the 
pocket or inside the coat of one of the audience. 

The secret of this pretty little trick is a tiny rubber 
band. It is stretched over a box of safety matches. 
On the label of these boxes there is generally a heavy 
black line at each end. Where there is not, the per- 
former marks it with ink, and it is over one of these lines 
that he stretches the rubber band. The band ought not 
be fresh, but one that is dark from use. The match 
box may lie on the table without attracting notice. The 
handkerchief, also, ought to be on the table. As the per- 
former picks up the box, his right thumb rests on the 
top, at one end, and the first and second fingers push 
m the end so as to open the box. See Fig. 123. As the 

left hand takes out some matches the right thumb rolls the 
rubber-band backward so that it encircles the two fingers, 
which are then closed in on the palm to conceal the band. 
Laying down the box, the performer picks up the hand- 
kerchief with his left hand and spreads it over the right. 
Under cover of the handkerchief the right thumb joins 
the fingers inside the rubber-band. See Fig. 124. The 

Fig. 123 


left hand now stands the matches upright in the center of 
the handkerchief, and the right hand grasps them. The 
handkerchief is then turned over, and, at the same mo- 
ment the band is stretched over the matches, through 
the handkerchief. The left hand takes hold of one cor- 
ner of the handkerchief and shakes it. The matches do 

Fig. 124 

not fall to the floor. They are gone ! Before beginning 
the trick the performer, who is sitting down, conceals a 
second lot of matches in a fold of his trousers leg 
These he gets hold of, and apparently takes them out of 
a pocket or from inside the coat of some one in the audi- 

The Moving Ears: 

No little fun may be created with this trick Back 
of each ear is stuck a small piece of flesh-colored courts 
plaster; to each piece is fastened a piece of black silk 
thread, the ends being tied together at the shoulders 
By tugging at the thread the ears will move or one ear 
only may be moved. The trick proves most effective if 
done when seated in company. Attention ought not to 
be called to it, as it will soon be noticed. Of course 
it is more a joke than a trick. 



The Talking Glass : 

The performer gives out a flint wine-glass, a silk thread 
about sixteen inches long, and his wand. One end of 
the thread he ties near one end of his wand, and the 
other end of the thread to the stem of the wine-glass. 
While the wand is in the performer's hand, the glass 
will ring out an answer to questions, tell the number 
of spots on a drawn card, and the suit, by ringing 
twice for "yes" and once for "no." Considerable fun 
may be made, all depending, of course, on the wit of the 
performer. All that is necessary for this trick is to 
roughen the wand somewhat, just enough to catch the 
thread slightly. It is also well to rosin the thread. 
When the performer wishes the glass to ring, he turns 
the wand a trifle in his fingers; the thread will go with 
it a little way, but the weight of the glass pulls it back 
again, and this jerks the glass slightly, causing it to 

The Suspended Glass: 

Either a tumbler or a large wine glass may be used 
for this trick and preferably one of thin glass. Keep- 
ing his hand perfectly flat the performer lays it over 
the mouth of the glass, and when he lifts his hand, to 
the great surprise of the company the glass is seen to 
cling to it without visible support. To prove that it 
is not the result of air pressure, a playing card is 
passed between the glass and the hand, and the glass 
still remains suspended. The secret of the trick lies in 
the fact that the rim of the glass is clipped between the 
thumb and forefinger. When the flat hand is laid over 
the glass it is pressed down, letting the lower joint of 

the forefinger sink into the glass as far as may be The 
thumb on the outside presses against the gLs The 
passing of the card between the mouth of gL 
and the hand while tending to heighten the effecl of 
the tnek . simple. When properly done the tr I f 
not easily detected. ^ 

The Tilting Goblet: 

Picking up a wine-glass, a little more than half full 
of water, and tilting it to an angle, the performer make 
mysterious passes over it, and then shows it still at an 
angle, carefully balanced on its edge. Others of the 
company are invited to try it, but every one f a « And 
he reason is plain, for no one has taken the precaution 
to place a matoK under tie talle-clotk, so that the goblet 
actually rests on it. Care must be taien that the goblet 
dry, for should the table-cloth be wet, the m teh as 
well as the trick, will be seen through it. 7nt\Z 
brings to mmd another trick. 

A Broken Match: 

The performer spreads a handkerchief on the table 

mlr t:Ti:' "^-hie^ lays a "d 
match. The handkerchief is folded over it two or three 
tnnes, and then, picking up the match through the f o d 
of the hnen, the performer breaks it into Lr pieces 

thL '\ f - deceptionTout 

this the match is unmistakably broken. Yet on open 

nf fl . ' ^onAeved at, for in the hem. 


Paper Tearing: 

The amateur conjurer of twenty-five years ago who 
was called upon to "do a trick" frequently responded 
by tearing up a sheet of cigarette-paper, rolling the 
pieces into a tiny ball, and then reproducing the sheet 
intact a few minutes later. This was done by substitut- 
ing a whole piece that was concealed between the fingers, 
for the torn pieces, which, in turn, were hidden in the 
mouth when the performer pretended to wet his finger 
so as to open out the erumpled-up sheet. 

The trick was almost forgotten, when it was revived 
a few years ago by a public performer, in a shape more 
suitable for stage presentation. Instead of a sheet of 
cigarette-paper a strip of red tissue-paper was used. 
This was about an inch in width and a yard or so in 
length. Baring his arms and opening wide his fingers, 
to show that nothing was concealed there, the performer 
in question tore the paper in two, then, folding the pieces 
together, he tore them in four, and so continued until no 
one piece was more than two and a half inches in length. 
These were gathered together, rolled up, and finally 
pulled out in one entire piece, as it was at first. At no 
time had the performer's hands come near his body. 

How the man who revived this trick did it we cannot 
say, positively, for he never told us. We have heard 


that he used what is known a<^ a "hn^^ ^ + . 

it fnd'iTf ' by the one who uses 

l^f ^ . '^P''^''^*^ have never tried this 

method, and cannot answer for it hnt 
doinff the tHnV '^^''^er tor it, but there is a way of 
uumg tne triek that we can recommend. 

The Torn and Restored Strip of Paper • 

the nP.'' ^^-^ellent trick and 

The properties are:— 

of the thu^t " ^^^^^^^ P°-b^^' the tip 

mLVr e^^h eighteen or twenty 

inches long and one inch wide ThrPP nf +h 
plaited in f},o i,- , ^^ese pieces are 

pidiiea m the fashion shown in Fi^ 12^ nnri +u 

pressed and folded in two. ' ^^''^ 

Fig. 125 
How the paper is plaited. 

One of these strips is placed in eaeh thnmb can- the 
th.rd hes on the table with the two straigM pll^es „? 


paper. Behind these is one of the thumb caps ; the other 
is on the performer's right thumb. Picking up one of 
the straight pieces, the performer holds it between his 
thumbs and forefingers in such a way that it covers the 
thumb cap. 

Now he tears it up, until it is in pieces about two or 
three inches long. Taking off the cap, he holds it in, his 
left hand, takes out the plaited piece and, compressing 
the torn pieces into as small compass as may be, puts 
them into the cap, which he replaces, on the right 
thumb. This done, he pulls out the plaited piece and 
shows it to the audience as the restored strip. 

"Let me show you, how simple this is," he says. 
Turning to his table, he picks up the third plaited piece, 
drops the cap from his thumb and replaces it by the 
second cap. Facing the audience, he shows the plaited 

"Two pieces of paper are used," he says. "This 
piece I hold in my palm." As he says this, with his 
left hand he places the plaited piece in his right palm. 
Holding his hands up, so that all may see them, he keeps 
the strip of paper in place by the tip of the third finger 
of his right hand, taking care to conceal his thumb be- 
hind the left hand. Turning to his table again, he picks 
up the remaining strip of paper with the left hand and 
proceeds to tear it, as he tore the first piece. When torn 
to the desired size, he packs the pieces away m the 
thumb cap, first taking out the- plaited piece. The cap 
he replaces on the thumb. He has now two whole strips 
in his hands, but the audience imagine he has the torn 
pieces and one whole strip. 

Without any attempt at concealment, he changes the 


pieces. "Now, ladies and gentlemen," he says, "I sim- 
ply open out this piece, as you see," here he opens one 
strip and drops it on the floor, "and these pieces." As 
he says this he pulls one end of the remaining strip and 
continues to puU until its full length is shown. "Ah, 
well, I see you know just how the trick is done." 

J\ist a word here as to the manipulation of the cap 
When stretching a strip between his fingers the per- 
former may easily, even at close quarters, show that 
there is nothing in his hands except the strip of paper 
When running the strip through his fingers, the thumb 
with the first and second fingers of the left hand may 
remove the cap from the right thumb. This off that 
thumb may be shown, incidentally, empty. By repeat- 
ing this move the cap may be replaced. 

A popular and clever London conjurer, Selbit, sug- 
gests the following substitute for the metal thumbpiece 
which, as he truly says, is clumsy: Provide yourself 
with a nicely fitting ring of thin, flat brass that will pass 
over your thumb down to the first joint. Next, get at 
a druggist's a thumb stall of thin flesh colored rubber- 
Fig. 126, put it on the thumb and push the ring dow^ 

Fig. 126 

over the outside of the stall. Just above the ring toward 
the closed end of the stall, apply some rubber cement 
turn back the open end of the stall so as to cover the ring 
and the cement will stick the rubber together, leaving the 
rmg hemmed in between the two parts. When it is dry 



cut away the loose ends of the stall. To use it, place the 
duplicate slip, plaited closely, against the flat end of the 
left thumb and pull the stall over it, as shown in Fig. 
127. To exchange the duplicate slip for the torn pieces. 

Fig. 127 

place the latter against the tip of the left thumb and 
hold them there by pressing with the right thumb ; then 
with the first and second fingers of the right hand, take 
hold of the ring and pull it over the right thumb, as in 
Fig 128. The result is that the torn pieces are concealed 

and the duplicate strip is in your hands, which may be 
shown, apparently empty. 

Another Method. In this method four strips of tissue, 
each thirty inches long, are used. Red tissue is prefer- 

ably the best color and shows to the best advantage but 

red can not be had, white will answer. Two of these 
stnps are pasted together, niaking one strip about ixty 
mches long. This serves as the duplicate. This is 
plaited zigzag and, finally, is doubled. To plait the 
paper easily one end of the strip is laid on a play ng 
card near the edge, another card is laid on top of this 

Zlr Z t f f ^'^^ ^^-^ '-tinue' 

oyer and back between cards until the entire strip is 
plaited m even folds. It is then taken from between the 
cards, pressed tightly together and doubled. It will 
make a little parcel about an inch and a quarter long 

so that the performer may find it when he wants it. A 

Fig. 129 

band Of the same tissue paper measuring two by two and 
a half inches is now wrapped around the folded strip 
A, and the ends of the bands are pasted together The 
strip A IS now in a sort of envelope. A pencil mark is 
made on one end of this envelope directly over the spot 
where the bit of white tissue lies. Two of the remainfng 



thirty-meh strips BB, are taken and an end of each is 
pasted to an end of the envelope to prevent it opening 
and to make a continuous strip as shown in Fig. 129 
Everything is now ready for exhibiting the trick. 

The performer shows his hands back and front the 
fingers wide apart. Picking up the strip BB he hangs 
It over the right hand, with the "envelope" part on the 
inside of the hand, as shown in Fig. 130. The "envel- 

rig. 130 

ope" IS now taken with the left hand and the right hand 
tears the strip BB just at the point where it is pasted 
on the envelope. The envelope might now be opened, 
but for the present it is not. Holding the two half strips 
together, and allowing them to hang down between the 
forefinger and the thumb of the left hand, the performer 
brings the four ends together and proceeds to tear the 
strips first in two, then in four, and finally in eight 
pieces. These he holds between the thumb and the fore- 


finger of the left hand, with the "envelope" which still 
contains A, behind them. While in this position he 
passes all from hand to hand to show, apparently, that 
there is nothing there but the torn pieces. With a twist 
of his right hand he brings the ends of these into the 
left hand, and squeezes them into a compact wad. While 
he IS doing this his thumbs, at the back, open the "en- 
velope," take out the strip A, and hold it next to the 
wad between the fingers and the thumb of the left hand. 
The performer now covers the wad with the tip of his 
left forefinger while the right hand takes hold of the 
loose end of A, and draws it out a few inches, the piece 
of white tissue making this easy. Bringing it toward 
his mouth he blows away from him the end as it makes 
Its appearance. He continues to draw it out a few 
inches further, and as his fingers touch his mouth for an 
mstant, a perfectly natural movement, he pops the wad 
into it. 

The trick is really done, but the performer continues 
to pull out the strip and blow on it till the full length 
IS revealed. This form of the trick constitutes a prob- 
lem which several professional magicians tried in vain 
to solve. 

A trick akin to this paper tearing is that of apparently 
tearing a borrowed bank-note in pieces, and restoring it 
whole to its owner. 

Although only a little trick, this will test to the utmost 
the ability of the performer. Mr. Francis J. Werner 
a prominent member of the Society of American Ma- 
gicians, makes a specialty of this, and in his hands it 
serves to illustrate the saying, "It is not the trick but 
the man." 


Before beginning the trick the performer folds up a 
bank-note of his own, and conceals it in the fold of his 
sleeve at the bend of the left arm. When he borrows a 
bank-note (takmg care that it is not frayed about the 
edges), he holds it gingerly in his right hand fingers so 
that everyone may see he has nothing hidden in his 
hands Then he pulls up first his right and next his 
le±t sleeve and as his hand goes to the latter he seizes 
the note concealed there between the first joint of the 
second and third fingers. Taking the borrowed note be- 
tween the fingers of both hands, he catches the upper 
right-hand corner between the thumb and finger of the 
right hand and gives it a quick, sharp, downward jerk 
toward his body as if tearing it. As he brings the corner 
down he retains it with the third and the little finger of 
the left hand. At the same moment he permits the 
duplicate note, which is between his fingers, to be seen 
Crumpling the two bills together, he pulls them apart, 
allowing the audience to get a mere glimpse of them 
Again and again he brings them together and separates 
them, rubbing one against the other, which will give the 
impression that they are being torn. Each time that 
they are separated the hands must be parted so that a 
bill may be seen in each hand, and finally the hands are 
held out toward the audience, who seeing the two bills 
will believe them to be one in many pieces. 

In concluding the trick, the hands are brought to- 
gether and the borrowed note is opened out and held so 
that all may see it; the duplicate bill is palmed in one 
hand and as the borrowed bill is held out in the other 
the palmed bill is dropped into the trousers pocket In 
exhibiting the trick Mr. Werner is here guilty of a bit 


Of magician's audacity. He works more rapidly than at 
hrst. Crumpling up the borrowed bill he repeats with 
the one bill almost the same motions used with the two 
bills. He rubs the right thumb against the rumpled bill 
making a sound as if tearing it, and as the audience 
believe they saw the separate pieces in the first instance 
they imagine they see them again. Finally he opens out 
the bill, which has been rolled into a ball, shows that it 
IS whole, and returns it to the owner. 

The Cigarette-Paper Trick: 

There is a way of doing this trick, which is referred to 
on page 214 that will puzzle many of those who know 
the old method. Before beginning, the performer rolls 
a sheet of cigarette paper into a tiny ball and with a 
mtle bit of wax sticks it on the nail of his right thumb 
He can now show his hands, seemingly empty. Taking 
a fresh sheet he tears it to bits. These he rolls into a 
ball and bringing the thumbs and forefingers together 
takes the whole piece from the thumbnail and for it sub- 
stitutes the torn bits. It is a simple matter then to open 
the whole sheet slowly and show the hands with the 
fingers spread wide open. 

A Japanese Trick: 

Some years ago an Italian who assumed a Japanese 
name and costume, introduced a little trick which lately 
has been revived, and has proved popular with the pub- 
lic and the "profession." 

Taking some small sheets of tissue paper, red and 
white,_the performer tore them into narrow strips, placed 
these m a goblet, and poured water on them With one 


end of his wand he pressed the paper into the water 
until It was thoroughly saturated, and afterward fished 
It out. Placing the wet strips in his right hand the 
performer squeezed out the water, and then made them 
into a little wad. Picking up a fan, he opened it, and 
beginning to fan the wet wad, a number of tiny pieces 
of red and white paper flew about in every direction. 
J^he wad had disappeared. 

_ The tiny bits of paper, which are of a fairly stiif qual- 
ity, say, like writing paper, are gathered into a ball and 
wrapped in a piece of thin, white tissue paper, which is 
then tied with a bit of thread, as shown in drawing. 
Fig. 131. Before beginning the trick this little ball is 
placed under the right armpit. 

In fishing out the wet strips, the performer does so 
with his left hand; he removes the wet paper with his 
right hand and squeezes the water out. At the same 
time he places his wand under his right arm, and in 
this way gets hold of the little ball. The next move is 
to pretend to place the wet strips in the left hand but 
m fact, the performer retains them between the second 
and third fingers of the right hand, picks up the fan 
and begins to fan the supposed wet pieces. A little 
pressure breaks the tissue wrapper, and the tiny pieces 


fly about like a snow flurry. The wet wad in the right 
hand IS dropped on the table behind a booh or a box 
when putting down the fan. 

The Disappearance of a Glass of Water, by Okito (Theo 
Bamberg) : 

On the center of a small table, the top of which is 
only twelve inches in diameter and half an inch thick 
IS placed a glass of water. Over this glass is dropped 
a cardboard cylinder, open at both ends and double 
the height of the glass. A second cylinder, a trifle larger 
m circumference than the first but about an inch shorter 
and of a different color, is placed over the first, and 
finally a third, larger in circumference than the second 
and an inch shorter and of another color goes over the 
second. The glass is now covered with the three cyl- 
inders, A, B, C, as shown in Fig. 132. After some re- 

marks by the performer, he lifts off the cover C and 
lays it on a tray, as shown in Fig. 133. Then he takes 
off B and places it along side C. The cover A he does 
not touch, but firing a pistol at it the cover drops to 
the floor. The glass with its contents has disappeared. 
For this trick a table, D. Fig. 134, is used that has a 



rod running through its leg. At the upper end of this 
rod, flush with the top of the table, is a disk of the same 
diameter as that of the bottom of the glass, E, Fig. 
134. A cord attached to the rod leads off to a concealed 
assistant, who pulls it to raise the rod; it falls of its own 
weight. The covers A and B are without preparation, 
but at one side of C, if a round object has a side, near 
the bottom, is a hole large enough to admit the tip of 

Kg. 134 

Table with rod running through 

Fig. 135 
Glass and disk. 

the second finger. The upper edges of the glass are 
ground perfectly flat and in the mouth of the glass is 
a disk of clear glass, made with a shoulder, so as to 
insure its fit, as shown at F, Fig. 135. When this is in 
place the glass filled with water may be turned upside 
down without spilling a drop. 

When the performer begins the trick the glass is 
standing on the table. He fills it to overflowing from a 
water-bottle and while moving the glass to the center of 
the table quietly covers it with the glass disk which he 
holds palmed. Then he drops cover A over the glass, cover 
B over A, and over B. He calls the attention of his 
audience to the position of the glass and its covers. 
You will notice, ladies and gentlemen," he says, "that 

a Cle^ Tt^'^V'. through 

ca. """l ""'"^^ ^'"^ '^^°"^h clearly as you 

can see through the glass itself. Suppose we try a 

C an^ I Ar the side of 

the norf .1 ^"^'^^^^•^•^ ^««i«te^t pulls 

the cord that raises the rod in the table and lifts the 

giass with the tip of the second finger and aeainst thp 
opposite side of the cover with his tLmb, thrhoMit 
the glass tightly in place. Then he lifts off glass and 
cover together, as shown in Fig. 136, and lays t?„ 

Fig. 136 
Lifting glass and cover together. 

pect thTf ''i 1^^- No one will sus- 
pect that the glass is removed, as no water runs out 
Cover B IS then slowly lifted off, and as the perforTer 
IS about to lay it alongside C he ( ?) accidentally dro^i^ 
on the floor. Afterward he is about to lift A but Ip 

TZflft:T: "^^^^^ ^t sf tht 

in the table p k ^^e disk 

m the table. Picking up a pistol, he fires at A and at 

the same time the assistant jerks the cord, the 'edge of 



the disk strikes the edge of A, which is knocked off on 
to the floor, and, to the astonishment of the audience, 
they discover that the table is bare— the glass of water 
has disappeared 

A Second Method.— This is better suited than the 
foregoing to the needs of the average amateur from 
the fact that it may be done without the aid of an 

The glass used for this trick is made with a tube 
blown in the center. It is open top and bottom and 
runs from the bottom of the glass nearly to the top, and 
is the shape of a truncated cone, as shown in H, Fig. 137. 

Into this tube fits a wooden plug. The lower part of 
this plug somewhat resembles a top with a screw-eye 
fastened in the pointed end. (See K, Fig. 138.) To the 
screw-eye is attached a strong elastic or other pull. (For 
the description of a pull, see the end of the book.) In 
the end J of the upper part, are two pieces of steel that 
drop down when the plug passes through the tube and 
prevent it from being withdrawn, as shown in M 
Fig. 139. 


Before beginning the trick the performer fills the glass 
with strong, black tea to hide the tube. Picking up the 
glass wath his right hand, in which is palmed' a glas 
cover sannlar to that described in the first form of the 

glass. Then he stands the glass on his left hand, and 
hrows over it a large handkerchief. Under cov r of 
this he mserts the plug J. K. When it is firmly in place 

out T h the elastic, shak 

out the handkerchief which, as it falls in front of him 

rcVctt"'^ - 

A Temperance Trick: 

there may be no suspicion of a trap or opening of any 
sort, and on it sets a glass of wine. Over thl for a 
moment, he throws a borrowed handkerchief ' Then 
picking up the covered glass, he exclaims in the lan^ 
guage of Horace: "Nunc est bibendum," and snatchW 
awayjhe handkerchief, shows a glass' of wa'teTwhSf 

n "''^ a partition, is 

a piece of transparent celluloid stained of a wine color 
to this IS attached a piece of fine silk thread, which han" ' 
over the side of the glass. On the free end of the threal 
IS fastened a small black button, which enables he pe' 
former to get hold of the thread easily and to pu 1 out 

tL dt 1 "'It" ^^"^^^^^ handkerch ef 

The drinking of the water is to do away with the idea 

that some of the audience may have, of any hL^cai' 
preparation. > '^^y cnemical 



The Chinese Rice Bowls (With Variations by Conradi) : 

For this great improvement on an otherwise rather 
mildewed trick the editors are indebted to Herr F. W. 
Conradi, of Berlin, whose fame as an inventor of clever 
magic" is known the world over. 
The trick begins by the performer handing out for 
examination two empty China bowls. When they are 
returned to him he fills one with rice from a bag, and 
stands It on a table. Then he places the other, mouth 
down, on top of the first. A moment later he removes 
It, and to the surprise of the audience it is found that 
It, too, IS filled with rice which rises in a heap and over- 
flows the sides of the lower bowl, as shown in Fig 140 

rig. 140 
The bowl with rice overflowing. 

This rice is removed till it is level with the brim of the 
lower bowl which is still full. Then the lower bowl is 


again covered with the other. Picking i,n hnfi, i 
with }n"« +TIrr^ J -TicKing up both bowls 

tTr„: , f * ' '° <'i^""-l> their position 

the performer holds them for a second anH T' 

2-ates them once more, the rice irdSCe^ d .nd 

z TtifoZ^ :r ~- 

to exarni J T , audience are again allowed 

«o;'SX"S '0 Without 

or^ar 7."'^'°^ f '^''^ " "-Btal vase 

Touching a lighted math to T ^ ' °' '"'P"''- 
With a I h. rteXmlrns ItSfS 

and .t ^ found to be empty, the water is goT ' 
lo^TJ'" '""^ "'"''^-^ P"P-ttes are a. fol- 

edL^of" tt!: f„°",' " P-'Mge towL The 

edges ot this bowl are ground perfectly flat Fitting 

Z:lLZV' ' ''X f ''«-P-»t eelllid'^S 
the i^uft oflbrr > " -'""■rf^-ce than 

nf f^. f 1 ^.^ 'P'^^'''^ contents. The edses 

ot the bowl, however nno-lnt +^ • ^ . , eages 

n„ * 1 X. >J"ever, ougnt to be moistened beforeban/I 

re'pect^"' ''"^ '"^"'"^^ ^-t in every 

Thfbottm'of ft t^*- ^'P^^' ^'''^ ^''^ rice, 

ine bottom of the bag is turned in and upward and «] 

thongh there is no actual partition it is virTuaTi; dT^de, 



into an upper and a lower part. In this way, the lower 
part forms a space or cavity that is not seen by the au- 
dience and is large enough to serve as a hiding place or 
place of concealment for the bowl, A, which is filled with 
water and covered by the celluloid disc. In the illustra- 
tion Fig. 141 part of the side of the bag is removed so 

Paper tag, with side troken away to show bowl underneath. 

as to show the view from the back: C is the bag; B the 
space or cavity at the bottom of the bag; and A, the cel- 
luloid-covered bowl. The bowl is resting on the trav 

The bowl of water and its disc are placed inverted 
on the tray, with a match or coin under some part of 
the edge, so that the disc does not touch the tray. With- 
out this precaution, should the tray happen to be 
wet, the disc might stick to it when the bowl is 
picked up. 

^J- ^ metal vase, as shown in Figs. 142 and 143. 
This is divided in two parts, A and B, by a partition. If, 
holding the vase straight, the performer pours into it the 
water from the bowl it will run down to the bottom and 
when he turns the vase slowly in the direction of the ar- 

Fig. 141 


IZZ'\i:tt "'^^ ''''' ^^^^ ^ of 

.empty """^ '''' ^^^^ be 


Pig. 142 
metal vase standing upright. 

Fig. 143 
The metal vase turned upside 

f *° conjurers as a ^ermn^e (dumb 

waiter), at the back of the table, as shown at P L F^. 

soIeJj^T P^P^^' ^ of cellulose, 

somewhat like gun-cotton. Precise directions for mak 
^ng this paper will be found at the end of the book 
Before begmning the trick the performer fiUs the 

t Hp ^1 ' rice bag over 

LI T b°^^^ tray, one on each 

the edge of the able. The metal vase, also, with the 
flash paper near it, is on the table, toward the front 

he sh rtta'tT " ""-r"^- ^^'^^^ bowls 
he shows that they are without preparation of any kind 



and hands them to the audience for examination He 
then places them, inverted, next to the bag. At least 
this IS what he appears to do. In reality he places 
only bowl B on the tray and bowl on the servante F 
Now comes the part that the performer must servilely 
tollow m order to make the illusion perfect. At the 
■very moment that his right hand places bowl B^ on 
the servante his left hand lifts the bag. 

By this perfectly natural movement the performer 
shows the third bowl which had been concealed under 

Fig 144 

Showing one hand lifting bag and 'the other putting bowl on servante. 

the bag, as shown in Fig. 144. If these instructions 
are carried out to the letter the illusion will be perfect 
and the audience will imagine that they see the original 
two bowls. Taking bowl B with his right hand he fills 
It with rice that he pours from the bag, Fig. 145. The 


bowl he replaces on the tray, the bag he stands on the 
table. As there is more rice on the bowl than it can 

Fig. 146 

Fig. 145 

hold, the performer runs his wand over the surplus 
grams and removes them. Then picking up bowl A aT 
ways holding it mouth down and in a sligLly slaming 
portion so that his audience may not Jthe^t S 
performer places it on bowl B, as shown in Fig lie 

Taking up both bowls and holding them horizontaUy 
before him on about a line with his chin, he turns them 
over so that when he sets them on the table again their 
positions will be reversed, and the bowl of rice will be 
on top. Slowly he lifts bowl B, and the rice falling on 
and over the disc will make it appear as if both bowls 
were fuU of rice. With his wand he levels the heap 
of rice, still leaving the lower bowl apparently full 

lT?t?fi'rT ^f.*^' '^P*^ Once more he 

lifte the bowls with both hands in a horizontal position 
as before, then turning them upright, he removes bowl 
B and stands it on the tray, so as to get rid of the disc, 
which he took away with the top bowl. Then he shows 
bowl A full of water. Taking the bowl from the trly 



he pours the water back and forth from one bowl to 
the other. Finally he picks up the metal vase and 
pours the water into it, covering the mouth with the 
flash paper. Applying a lighted match to the paper, 
it disappears, and turning over the vase shows that it 
is empty. 

Firing a Girl from a Cannon Into a Trunk: 

One of the most popular tricks with professional con- 
jurers is that in which a young woman is fired from a 
large cannon, standing on the stage, into the innermost 
of a nest of three trunks that has hung suspended in 
full sight of the audience from the "flies" or upper 
part of the stage. 

The trick is simplicity itself. In the lower end of 
the cannon — an enormous affair of wood and heavy tin 
which rests on a heavy gun carriage, is a trap which 
allows the girl to pass from the muzzle of the gun under 
the stage. Inside the mouth of the cannon is a revolver, 
the trigger of which is actuated by a cord in the hands 
of the girl and is fired at a given signal to heighten the 
effect of the trick. 

When the trunks are lowered to the stage they are 
empty. The outer one is opened, and pushed aside; 
then the center one and the innermost one are taken 
out and placed directly over a trap in the stage. The 
bottom of each of these trunks is provided with a flap, 
as shown in Fig. 147, and the girl who is now under 
the stage is run up into these trunks by an elevator. 
When she is inside the bottoms of the trunks fall in 
place of their own weight. 

Sometimes the girl who is placed in the cannon re- 


mains in it until it is taken off the stage, and a second 
girl, made up to resemble the first as nearly as possible, 



Fig. 147 

iT, T?!.^ J'i''^*''*""" ^'""T? bottoms of the two trunks and the trap 
m the stage open, affording a passage for the girl. 

gets into the trunk, though, as the reader will under- 
stand, this is unnecessary. 

Of course, this trick is only intended for the stage, 
and is explained here merely to gratify the curiosity of 
some readers who are desirous of knowing "how it is 

A Fruitful Experiment : 

Here is a pretty trick for two people. They begin by 
borrowing two hats, and then standing side by side they 
place the hats in front of them on two chairs that are 
turned sideways, so that the backs will not obstruct the 
view of the audience. The hats are turned over and 
shown to be empty, yet when they are replaced and Mr. 
Number One puts his hand in the hat before him, he 
brings out a lemon. He holds it up so that all may see 
it, and then hands it to his friend on his left, Mr. Number 
Two, who takes it and puts it into the hat that is before 
him. This they continue, until at least a dozen lemons 
are taken from one hat and put in the other. Finally 


Number One announces that his hat is empty. "How 
many have you?" he asks his friend. The latter turns 
over his hat, and shows — it is empty. Where did the 
lemons come from and where did they go ? Surely they 
were not "up the sleeve." Certainly not, though they 
might be hidden there, for only two lemons are needed 
for the trick. 

Each of the performers has a lemon under his left 
arm pit. Before they begin, they hold out their hands 
to show that they are empty. Then they pull up their 
sleeves, first the right, next the left. As the left is 
pulled up the right hand goes, naturally, under the 
arm pit and takes the lemon from the place of conceal- 
ment. Keeping the back of his hand to the audience 
Number One thrusts his hand into the hat and produces 
the lemon. He pretends to put it in his left hand and 
give it to Number Two, but keeps it in his right hand, 
turning the back to the audience. As his left hand meets 
Number Two's right, the latter allows his lemon to be 
seen. If properly and carefully done, the two men 
acting in concert, it will appear to the audience as if 
one lemon had passed from Number One to Number Two. 
As soon as Number Two appears to have the lemon, he 
pretends to pass it to his left hand, but retains it in his 
right. Then his left hand goes inside his hat, which 
he taps gently as if he had dropped the lemon, and im- 
mediately brings his hand out. These actions are re- 
peated until it seems as if ten or twelve lemons had been 
produced and stored away, and, finally, the hats are 
turned over and shown to be empty. 


Something from Nothing: 

"Let me call your attention to these pieces of tissue- 
paper," the performer begins, as he picks up three pieces, 
each ten or twelve inches square, a red, a white, and a 
dark blue. When these have been duly examined by 
the audience, he returns with them to the stage. Crum- 
plmg the papers together, in a second his hands are filled 
With tiny flags, which go floating down among the audi- 
ence like "leaves in Vallombrosa. " Should the supply 
become exhausted, he brings his hands together again 
and the flags multiply right under the eyes of the audi- 
ence. Finally, when but few remain, his hands are once 
more placed together, and from them come the original 
red, white, and blue pieces from which the flags sprang 
_ Wonderful as it seems, the method of this trick is 
simple. The so-called flags are merely bits of tissue- 
paper of various colors, about two by three inches each 
rhese are mounted by pasting a small end of each on a 
twig of broom-corn about four inches long. When ready 
about a hundred and fifty are laid one on top of an- 
other and rolled together; when bunched up the ends 
ot the twigs are then cut evenly with scissors. The roll 
IS then placed on a piece of Hack tissue-paper The 
paper is rolled over them once or twice, then one end 
IS turned in and the rolling is continued. When fin- 
ished there will be only one end projecting, and this 
IS to be twisted tightly. Last of all, the turned in end 
IS neatly trimmed with scissors. The result will be a 
compact package that will hold together well, and yet 
may be opened easily. Two or three such packages, 
according to the size of the audience, must be prepared 
m order to produce the proper effect. Even if the audi- 



ence is small in number, the performer must show a 
quantity of flags scattered about to heighten the effect. 
Before coming before his audience, the performer tucks 
one of these packages under the right lapel of his coat. 
To secure it there a large black pin is thrust down 
through the cloth and the lower end is then bent upward 
so the point stands out, and on this point the package 
is stuck. In this place it is hidden by the lapel, but a 
simple upward touch of the hand will remove it. A 
second packet is fastened in the same way under the 
left lapel of his coat on a line with the top button hole, 
and still another under the vest, a trifle above the waist- 
line, in such place that it may be easily reached by the 
hand that is on the opposite side. 

As the performer gathers the original pieces of paper 
from the audience, he receives the blue first, the red 
next in his right hand, holding them with the second 
finger in front and the other three fingers and the thumb 
at the back. To take the third piece he turns his left 
side, partly, to the person who holds it and reaches for 
it with his left hand. This, naturally, brings his right 
hand against the lapel where the first packet of flags is 
concealed; the three fingers and thumb instantly seize 
the packet and hold it behind the blue piece of tissue- 
paper, where it is not seen. 

The performer is careful not to bring away the hand 
at once, as that would surely attract attention, but when 
the left hand receives the white piece of tissue, the two 
hands are brought together. The trick is now, virtually, 
done. All that remains is for the performer to crumple 
up the three pieces of paper, break open the packet, twist- 


ing the twigs in an opposite direction from that in which 
hey are rolled, and scatter about the flags. As they 
tall to the ground he lets the black wrapper go at the 

inT f''" '''' P^^^^^"'^^ - ™be? of flag 

m his hand, he sticks one in his buttonhole on the left 

that Wl'V^f '''' P^^'^^t '^'^ i« ^^^er 

that lapel of the coat. The original pieces of paper are 

rolled into a ball and concealed in one hand. It s I 

easy matter to get the third package from under the 

vest: the performer need only bow in presenting a flag 

and as he bends to ofl:er the flag with one hand, the oppo 

site hand reaches under the vest and secures the pack^e 

As a conclusion, the performer throws into the air a 
package which, when it reaches a certain height bursts 

Te'effe t"^'"T '^"'^ "^^"^ '^^'^ the a^dien 
The efi'ect is pretty and the arrangement is simple - the 

flags are bound together by a band of black tissue p^per 

Passing unc^. and over one part of this band is a7o p 

of fine black sewing silk. Attached to this loop is a 

ength of the same silk, measuring about thirty feet Ve 

other end being tied to a button of the performer West 

The thread is pleated and held against the packet by 

fth? i's'off tri- '''' ^^^^^^"^^^ 

t he si PS off this band and taking the package throws 

IT&^lZf -^''^ ^^'T' ''''' «^ 

nags fly about m every direction 

When only a few flags remain in his hands, the per 
former pulls out the original papers and shows them 
but this IS not necessary. ' 

Sometimes a large silk flag is wrapped up and con- 



cealed under the side of the coat, and the performer 
seizes this and spreads it out as a finish, and it always 
brings applause. 

The Adhesive Dice : 

Two ivory dice are handed out for examination. 
Then the conjurer places one on top of the other, being 
careful that the number of spots on the faces are the 
same. He requests some one to take hold of the top 
die and, without touching the lower one, to lift them 
from the table. This the audience find difficult to do, 
and yet when the conjurer takes hold they both are raised 
together. The secret is, that while the audience are 
busy trying the trick, the conjurer quietly wets a finger 
in his mouth. This he passes over the face of one die, 
and then the two will adhere. The notion of having 
similar spots together are like "the flowers that bloom 
in the spring"; that has no bearing on the trick and is 
only for effect. 

The Antispiritualistic Cigarette Papers : 

The effect of this little trick can not be imagined; it 
must be seen to be appreciated. For it the following 
"properties" are needed: (1) A book of cigarette pa- 
per. (2) A piece of thin cardboard, a little larger than 
a sheet of cigarette paper, covered on one side with blot- 
ting paper. (3) A frame of stiff cardboard, the same 
size as the thin piece, on one side of which are pasted 
four pieces of rubber band, as shown in Fig. 1^8, a, 6, 
c, d. A sheet of cigarette paper is laid on the blotting 
paper and covered with the frame, the rubber side down ; 
the two pieces of cardboard are fastened together with 



a small clamp, as shown in Fig. 149. The combined 
action of the blotting paper and the rubber will prevent 
the paper shifting. (4) Four pieces of colored tissue 
paper, say, red, blue, yellow, and green, each about one 

Fig. 148 Fig. 149 

and a half by two inches. (5) Four pieces of colored 
pencils, of the same colors as the tissue papers. These 
are each about an inch and a half in length ; so as to dis- 
tinguish them by feeling they are prepared as follows : 
the red is pointed at one end; the blue at both ends; 
the yellow pointed at one end, but a notch cut around it; 
and the green notched in the :same way, but pointed at 
both ends. The slightest touch with the fingers will 
enable the performer to identify them. The frame with 
the cigarette paper in place and the four pencils are 
in the performer's trousers' pocket on his right side. 
One of the audience is requested to select a leaf of 
cigarette paper, to roll it into a ball, to stick it on the 
end of a pin and keep it for a time in sight of the au- 
dience. Another of the audience is asked to select a 
piece of the colored tissue paper, and to keep it for a 
moment, while a third one is requested to choose a word 
or a number and to announce it, so that everyone may 
know it. In the meanwhile the performer has thrust 
his hand into his pocket and found the pencil of 
the same color as the selected tissue. Then in his 
pocket he writes on the framed piece of paper the word 



or number that was called out, releases the clip that 
holds the two pieces of cardboard, and getting hold of 
the paper rolls it into a pellet. With this concealed be- 
tween his thumb and forefinger, he takes the ball of 
paper off the pin and exchanging one pellet for the 
other places the one from his pocket on the selected piece 
of tissue paper. Rolling these together and putting both 
on the point of the pin, he hands it again to some one 
to hold. Then calling to the spirits from the vasty deep 
he bids the one who holds the pin to open the pellet,' 
and when this is done the selected word or number is 
found on the cigarette paper written in the color of 
the selected tissue paper. 

The Spirit Table (by Germain*) : 

In selecting the idea here presented from others, per- 
haps more practical or more original in effect, the writer 
has acted on his theory that books on conjuring should 
be composed of suggestions, rather than finished elfects, 
so that it devolves on every performer to work out the 
details anew, thus in some small measure preventing 
that apelike imitation which has brought so much dis- 
credit on the mystic art. The trick here employed, he 
has himself used, in two entirely different ways, yet it 
was for the effect described that the ruse was invented. 

The performer places upon a small unprepared table, 
several tambourines, bells, a slate, a small guitar, etc! 
Then remarking that a real medium can produce mani- 
festations in the light as easily as in the dark, if only 
he screens his ghostly visitants from profane eyes, he 
holds a piece of drapery about two feet square as a 
* This trick is presented in Mr. Germain's own words. 

screen, before the table-top. Immediately sharp raos 
are hea.^ to come from the table and answe^rs are Tapped 

re nt 1 "^^'^ '^^-bonriBes and bells 

a e zattled and rung, and shaken against the cloth or 

he performer's arm, then thrown with great fore into 
the air and even at the performer. The guitarTs nlaved 
upon While it is seen to float about; the^I e is^^^^^^^^ 
upon; m short, almost any of the usual "spirit" n am 

For this trick, the performer needs three arms, and 

Fis. 150 

fortunately he has them, two are his own, and so is thp 



and wrist, and a hand modeled and colored as nearly as 
possible like the performer's own right hand. This 

false arm is permanently fixed into the right sleeve of a 
coat he wears especially for this elfect. This coat he 

dons during a moment's exit after his introductory re- 
marks and his arrangement of the table and instruments. 
His right arm is held behind his back, and, without let- 
ting his left hand or his face know what it does, it 
"assists" the spirits. A stout little rod with a steel 
hook at the end, enables it to reach all parts of the table- 
top and to rap and bang the various instruments; the 
floating and throwing of them is accomplished by engag- 
ing the hook of the rod in screw-eyes, with which they 
have all been provided; the guitar is provided with a 
music-box which plays while the instrument is "floated" 
about. Just as soon as an instrument has been thrown 
or laid down, the little rod is drawn under the coat-tail, 
and the cloth lowered almost simultaneously. The cloth 
has a hook in one corner which is hooked into an eye 
under the coat-lapel. Rather heavy drapery goods works 
best, and it is advisable to weight the lower hem with 
shot, that the folds may not cling or stage zephyrs dis- 
turb the harmony of the spirit concert. The performer 
comes on holding the false hand in the real left hand; 
when he releases it, it will drop with a perfectly natural 
movement to his side. He then takes the cloth from the 
table, hooks it onto his coat, and proceeds with the trick. 
As he cannot turn round, or exit except by awkward 
side-stepping, the curtain should be dropped on the last 

A somewhat similar apparatus, but more simple and 
less cumbersome was described some years ago in Ma- 



hatma, which we are allowed to reproduce here through 
the courtesy of Mr. Frank Ducrot, the proprietor of that 

For this it is necessary to have a lazytongs of steel 
or other metal, that may be extended or contracted at 
will by pressing the knob that is at one end. The other 
end of the lazytongs has attached to it four false fingers, 
made in exact imitation of a half closed human hand. 
The tongs is sewed between two handkerchiefs or other 
pieces of cloth, at one edge, leaving the false fingers 
on the outside, as shown in Fig. 151. 

To use this apparatus the tongs is closed and the hand- 
kerchief is thrown over the back of a chair, the fingers 
hanging behind. The performer picks it up with both 
hands, the fingers of the left hand covering the false 
fingers. He opens it out, showing both sides, and then 
spreads it in front of him, allowing his left hand to fall 

Fig. 151 



behind liim. He may then ring a bell, shake a tam- 
bourine, or cause articles to appear on the table or to 
disappear from it. In fact, many wonderful "manifes- 
tations" may be worked, to the astonishment of the audi- 
ence, and the performer is free at any time to turn or 
to leave the stage. 

The Needle Trick (by Clement de Lion) : 

The performer shows a number of needles and a piece 
of thread about eighteen inches long. The thread is 
wound around the needles. Then several pieces of bright 
colored sewing silk are oifered to the audience who select 
one and tie it to the end of the thread that is wound 
around the needles. These preliminaries being finished, 
the performer puts needles and thread into his mouth, 
the bit of colored silk hanging out over his under lip. 
Then follow some grimaces as if the performer were 
swallowing the needles, and when these cease the con- 
jurer takes hold of the silk, pulls it out and it is fol- 
lowed by the needles threaded and about an inch apart. 

As our readers no doubt surmise, a duplicate lot of 
needles, already threaded, is used ; the rest of the length 
of thread is wrapped around them, except about three 
inches. This bunch of needles is passed under a ring 
that is worn on the second finger of the performer's left 
hand, and is kept there concealed, as shown in Fig. 152. 
A similar number of needles and a thread are now 
exhibited. The needles are bunched together and the 
thread is wound around them except about three inches. 
Then they are put between the thumb and the first and 
second fingers of the left hand for a few moments, and 
the loose end is, apparently, run between the fingers and 


left hanging outside. We say, apparently, for in fact 
It IS dropped inside the hand and the end of the other 
bunch of needles is allowed to show outside. One of 
the colored threads is now selected and tied to the loose 
end that belongs to the threaded bunch. When about to 
y swallow" the needles, the performer takes them, seem- 
ingly, with his right hand, but drops them into the left 
hand and takes those that are under the ring. The 

Fig. 152 

audience have no suspicion that any change has been 
made, for they see the colored silk that they suppose 
was tied to the needles first shown. The needles are put 
into the performer's mouth, the silk thread dangling 
outside, and the trick is brought to a conclusion, as 
described. The points of the needles are ground dull to 
insure safety in handling them. 

The Vanishing Glass ofWater: 

Like most good tricks there are several ways of doing 
this. One performer used to present a somewhat similar 
effect, and while it appeared to be the most simple thing 
possible, It was really very complicated and suited only 



for the stage. In the form here offered the trick may be 
done anywhere, and the necessary apparatus can be pre- 
pared by any boy. Here is the effect: 

Taking an ordinary glass tumbler, the performer fills 
it with water and covers it with a silk handkerchief. 
Then holding it, still covered, by the mouth, he moves 
it to and fro, from side to side, and finally throws it in 
the air. Wonderful to relate, the glass has vanished, 
the handkerchief is empty. The performer's hands have 
not been near his body, so he could not have concealed 
it there. There is no trap in the table, into which it 
might be dropped. Where then has it gone ? 

With abject apologies, the performer turns his back 
to the audience, and from his coat-tail pocket takes out 
the tumbler— or a tumbler— still filled with water. 

Some little preparations are necessary for the trick. 
The pitcher that holds the water has tapering, straight 
sides and in circumference is smaller at the top than at 
the bottom. It should be about half as high again as 
the tumbler, and this latter also should taper, but must 
be smaller at the bottom than at the top. 

Inside the pitcher is a roll of corrugated straw board, 
such as is commonly used in packing bottles, large enough 
in diameter to hold the tumbler without letting it fall to 
the bottom of the pitcher. The roll, in order to hold the 
tumbler properly, is in the shape of a truncated cone, 
as shown by the illustration. Fig. 153. Its edges are 
sewed together, so that it will not break open. A little 
dab of glue here and there outside the roll, will fasten 
it to the sides of the pitcher and prevent it falling out. 
When this is properly in place the pitcher is half-filled 
with water. 



Fig. 153 

.1,^^^''.,^^°''* *^ ^^^"^ performer throws 

the handkerchief over Ms left arm. Bemember this for 
It IS important. In the center of this handkerchief on 
the lower side is fastened a ring of the same diameter 
as the top of the tumbler and made of light stiff wire, 
bo that this ring may not, by any possibility, be seen 

Fig. 154 

It IS better to place it between a double handkerchief; 
that IS two handkerchiefs of the same pattern sewed edge 
to edge, and also, so as to form a triangular enclosure 



as shown by the dotted lines in the accompanying draw- 
ing. When the handlierchief is held by the upper cor- 
ners, a slight shake will bring the ring in proper position. 

Holding the pitcher by its handle with the second, 
third, and fourth fingers and thumb of the left hand, 
so as to leave the forefinger free, the performer pours 
water into the tumbler, which is held in his right hand. 
Both hands are now in use, and as the handkerchief at 
this moment must be thrown over the tumbler, the latter 
is transferred to the left hand, which with the forefinger 
and thumb holds it directly over the mouth of the pitcher. 
Artful performer ! Taking the handkerchief, he covers 
the tumbler and then grasping the wire ring, which the 
audience imagine is the top of the tumbler, he lets go 
of that vessel and it drops into the pitcher, where it is 
caught by the pasteboard cone. 

Still holding the ring, the handkerchief is moved away, 
supposedly with the glass under it. The pitcher is stood 
aside, and all eyes are fixed on the handkerchief. Back 
and forth the magician sways it and finally tosses it 
in the air, catching it by one end as it falls. The 
tumbler has gone! 

All that remains to finish the trick, is for the performer 
to bring from his coat tail pocket a second tumbler partly 
filled with water, which has been covered with a little 
rubber cap, that is pulled off just a minute before it is 
brought in sight. 

Should there be any trouble in finding such a cap, 
a sheet of thin rubber stretched over the mouth of the 
tumbler, and held in place by a stout rubber band will 
answer admirably. 



Phantasma (by Ffelicien Trewey) : 

On the stage is a platform on which stands the frame- 
work of a cabinet, as shown at A, Fig. 155. Resting 
against the wings are five screens, which serve to build 
up the cabinet. These are fixed in position by means of 
hooks at the top of four screens ; the screen for the top 
lies flat (Fig. 155). When the performer has shown to 

rig. 155 Fig. 156 

the satisfaction of the audience that no one is concealed 
about the platform, the screens are brought forward and 
stood, leaning, against the back of the platform. From 
there they are lifted in place, beginning with the top, 
followed by the sides, the back, and the front until the 
cabinet is built up. The front screen is now removed, 
and a young girl steps out, makes her obeisance to the 
audience, and bows herself off the stage, leaving the 
onlookers to guess where she came from. 

If we see the trick from the back of the stage, we 
shall find that the girl is run up through a trap from 
below the stage and takes a position behind the back 
screen before it is hung in place. Near the top of this 



screen is a ring to which she holds and at the bottom 
IS a narrow ledge on which her feet rest. While there, 
she and the screen are lifted together and the latter is 
hung m place. That screen is really a door and gives 
access to the interior of the cabinet. The better to bring 
the girl in place she is pulled up from beneath the 
stage by a number of fine steel wires pendant from an 
overhead bar carried by a counterweight which is led 
over guide pullies to the back of the stage. 

Instead of the rather flat entrance of the girl from 
the cabinet, as described, the illusion might be worked 
up to a dramatic situation by having the screens fall 
away from the cabinet when the performer fires a pistol. 

A Traveling Wand: 

Before he attempts to exhibit this trick, the performer 
makes a case of stiif black paper, just large enough to 
allow his wand to slide in it. It must look as much like 
the wand as possible and be open at each end. Silver 
paper at each end, somewhat like the caps or ferrules 
generally seen on the ends of a conjurer's wand, add 
to the illusion. Slipping his wand into this, he tucks 
both under one arm and comes before his audience 
Taking two pieces of thin wrapping paper, each about 
ten inches wide and four inches longer than his wand 
he rolls them in the shape of a tube, and closing the 
ends of one gives it to some one to hold. Before this 
however, he lays both on his table and in doing this ( ?) 
accidentally drops his wand on the floor, thus testifying 
to Its solidity, without calling special attention to it 
As he picks it up, he pushes it an inch or so out of 
the ease. Then taking one tube he puts his wand inside 



presumably to see that it is the proper length. "When 
he apparently takes out the wand, he really pulls out 
the case, leaving the real wand in the tube, which he 
immediately closes and hands to his volunteer assistant. 
The imitation wand is put into the other tube and that 
he closes. Calling the attention of the audience to the 
disposition of the tubes, he says: "The tube that the 
gentleman holds is empty, while mine contains the wand. 
Now see the result when I cry Oo." As he says this 
he_ crushes the tube that he holds, affording indisputable 
evidence that it is empty, and asks the person who 
holds the other to open it, when the wand will be found 

A Mysterious Flight: 

The performer shows a canary and announces that it 
IS about to take an aerial flight. "I trust the aeroplane 
will not break down," he says, "for I think a great deal 
of this little bird. I call it Wheeler and Wilson, because 
It is not a Singer. I was told it could be trained to sing 
but I've trained it over a great many miles, and it can 
nary sing." With these few remarks the performer 
binds ^the feet of the bird together. "But," he contin- 
ues, "as that will not prevent him flying, I shall wrap 
him up m this piece , of paper. I might add, paren- 
thetically, that this is not a spirit rapping." When 
the bird is wrapped up, the package is laid on top of 
a soft felt hat. ' ' I shall now load our little traveler into 
this pistol," he says, picking up the usual conjurer's 
pistol. ' ' Tou see, the trick is done mainly by concussion 
and this IS the eoneussor. Will you take this weapon' 
sir? he says, addressing one of the audience. "I will 



take this sword. When I say three, you fire and I'll 
thrust. Now then, ready! One, two, three!" Bang 
goes the pistol! and the same moment the performer 
makes a thrust with the sword, and there is the bird 
on the point. 

_ For this experiment, the performer needs : two cana- 
ries, nearly alike in size and color; a sword; a pistol 
with a large barrel; a soft hat; a piece of soft cord; a 
piece of paper in which to wrap the bird; a dummy 
packet, resembling the one in which the bird is placed ; 

and a table with a padded box at the back, to catch 
the bird package. The sword is like the well-known 
card-sword, and in the handle is a spring-barrel on 
which is rolled the cord that draws the bird, at the 
proper moment, to the point of the sword. Another 
style of sword is made with a hollow blade through which 
runs an elastic cord. See Fig. 157. The bird is pro- 



vided with a harness, made of a strip of soft leather, 
about three-quarters of an inch in width and three and 
one-eighth inches in length. In this are made four cuts, 
as shown in Fig. 158. The bird's wings go through two 
of these cuts and its feet through the other two. The 
ends of the strip meet under the bird's belly and are 
sewed together, and at this point is fastened a small ring. 
See Fig. 159. To this is attached the cord or the elastic 

Pig. 158 ' Fig. 159 

to which the bird is fastened before it is put in the 
holder on the hilt of the sword. Care must be taken 
when the bird is laid in the holder, to see that its feet lie 
next to the inner side of the hilt. If the tension of the 
spring-barrel or the elastic is right, neither too strong 
nor too weak, no harm can befall the bird as it is 
shielded by the leather band, which may remain on the 

In binding the feet of the second bird a soft, cotton 
string must be used and be tied loosely. The left hand 
takes the bird by its feet, which will cause it to flutter, 
and it is at this moment that the feet are tied. The 
soft hat is shown to be empty and in going back to his 
table the performer drops into it the dummy packet. 
The hat is laid, rim down, on the table, and the bird- 
packet is placed under it (the dummy packet is already 
there), taking care to lift the hat only a trifle. Ad- 



dressing the audience the performer says: "Don't im- 
agine that I got rid of the bird when I put it under the 
hat but to satisfy you I will place the packet on top 
ot the hat. As he says this, the performer, before rais- 
ing the hat, draws it toward the back of the table, and 
as he is about to raise the hat to pick up the dummy 
the genuine packet will drop into the padded box. Show- 
ing that the hat is empty, he lays it on another table 
and puts the dummy packet on top of it, as shown in 

Fig. 160 

Fig 160. Picking up the pistol he loads the dummy 
packet into the barrel and then hands the weapon to 
some gentleman with the request that he fires at com- 
mand. The performer takes the sword, which is already 
prepared, counts three, and as the pistol is fired thrusts 

21^ ' ' ''''"^ «P"ng-barrel or the elastic, 

and the bird is seen at the sword 's point. The performer' 
IS careful to hold the sword horizontally, not pointW 
upwards. Further, the sword must be heM with'the a™ 
at full length and at the moment the spring or the elastic 
s released, the arm must be drawn back quickly toward 
the body. This will prevent the forcible impact of 11 
bird agamst the point of the sword; it will be impossible 
for any one to see where the bird comes from and it 
will seem as if it were caught flying in the air. With 





proper care the bird will not be injured in the least 
and may take part in the trick for years. 

The dummy packet to be loaded into the pistol ought 
to be made of flash-paper. 

For the explanation of this trick and the diagrams, 
the editors are indebted to Mr. Ottaker Fischer, of Vi- 
enna, an accomplished and ingenious conjurer. 

The New Die and Hat Trick (by Will Goldston, London) : 

Nearly every conjurer has at some time either used or 
seen the old Die Box, with two compartments. The idea 
is good, but the trick is old. 

The box now to be described is quite new and suitable 
for the stage or the drawing-room. 

The performer borrows a hat, shows that it is unpre- 
pared and empty, and places it on a table in full view 
of the audience, A square box is next shovm on all 
sides, and is opened ; a lid in front drops down and one 
on top opens upward; the box may be shown freely, 
without allowing it to be handled. A solid wooden die 
of a size that will just fit inside the box is handed out 
for examination; then both lids of the box are opened 
and the die is dropped in at the top, so that the audience 
see it plainly. Then the box is closed. The performer 
waves his hand over it and commands the die to leave the 
box. This is opened at once and is found to be empty. 
Then the hat is handed to its owner, and to his surprise 
the die is seen inside of it. 

The accompanying illustrations show that the box is 
fitted with a spring roller curtain A, at the front open- 
ing. An eye is sewed to the back of this curtain so that 
when the die is dropped into the box it lowers the cur- 



Illustrations to A Girl produced from Empty Boxes 
i'ig. 162 


tain This has the same number of spots painted on it 
that are on the side of the die presented to the audience 
as It drops into the box. A hook, C, catches the eye of 
the curtam at the bottom of the box, and holds it until 
the performer releases it. The bottom of the box B 
which IS held over the inside of the hat when exhibiting 
the trick, has a spring trap which allows the die to drop 
into the hat, the front lid hiding this. The illustrations, 
J^ig. 161, which Mr. Goldston sends are so clearly drawn 
that there ought to be no difficulty in following the de- 
tails of the trick. 

A Girl Produced from Empty Boxes (by Will Goldston) : 

Two large boxes are standing, side by side, on a plat- 
form, when the scene opens. The sides, back, and front 
of each box, together with the lid, are hinged together, 
and are kept in place by spring catches, and may be 
opened out flat. Taking one box at a time, the per- 
former spreads it out on the stage. When the audience 
is satisfied that there is nothing concealed, the boxes 
are replaced on the platform; the small box is dropped 
into the large one, and the boxes are closed. Immediately 
after the lids fly open and a young woman springs out 
See Fig. 162. 

At the beginning the girl, in a crouching position is 
concealed behind the small box as shown in Fig. 163. 
When the large box is replaced on the platform, after 
the performer has opened it out for the audience it is 
stood close to the other which gives the girl an oppor- 
tunity to pass behind it and to enter it through a trap 
The bottom of the small box is of black paper instead of 
wood, enabling the girl to go through it, as it is dropped 



Plan at beginning of act 

CH. Cntiring 

i3e<t,on throZr'dat 

^""^ box [?a5xd into first 

Illustrations to A Girl produced from Empty Boxes. 
Fig. 163 



into the large box. The trick is very effective and a fa- 
vorite with some of the best conjurers. 

The Nest of Boxes: 

On the stage stands a chair with a cane back. This 
back is lined with a piece of stuff of the same material 
and color as that of the curtain or screen at the back 
of the stage. 

Hanging on the back of the chair is a bag the mouth 
of which is held open by a ring of tempered wire that 
does not bend readily, and lying over the back of the 
chair is an open newspaper. From the "flies," or the 
ceiling, hangs a nest of four boxes, the outer one being 
about 12 X 14 X 20 inches. In the smallest or innermost 
box is a small, white rabbit. Around its neck is tied 
one end of a ribbon, six or seven inches long, and on 
the other end is a snap-hook, such as is used on the end 
of a watch-chain. In closing the boxes, care is taken 
always to keep this ribbon hanging outside, so that when 
the largest box is reached at least two inches of 
ribbon will remain outside. Fastened to the front side 
of the box, over which the ribbon hangs, is a small hook. 
This side is kept away from the audience. Finally, the 
boxes have small holes bored in many places, so as to 
give the rabbit air. These preliminaries are, of course, 
arranged before the curtain goes up, and the audience 
knows nothing of them. 

When the performer comes on the stage, he begins by 
asking for a watch, and as he steps down among his audi- 
ence to borrow one, he stops before some gentleman and, 
excusing himself, takes from under the man's coat a 
rabbit, exactly like, in size and color, the one in the box. 



This rabbit the performer has concealed under the front 
of his waistcoat. As he steps up to the man from whom 
he is to take it, he seizes the lapel of the man's coat 
with his left hand and, stooping slightly, takes the hidden 
rabbit with his right hand, thrusts it under the man's 
coat for an instant and withdraws it almost immediately, 
holding the rabbit high in the air. Then he borrows 
the watch, and returns to the stage. When the stage 
is reached, the rabbit is placed on the seat of the chair. 
Turning toward the audience, the performer comments 
on the watch: 

"I see our watch is a second-hand affair. Most 
watches to-day are made that way." Here he looks at 
the watch. " I Ve seen better— now don 't misunderstand 
me— I've seen better tricks done with watches than with 
any other small article. Now watch this." He throws 
the watch in the air once or twice, and finally makes a 
motion of throwing, but retains it in his hand, holding it 
there by clasping the ring between the thumb and fore- 
finger, and as he stands with his right side to the audi- 
ence, and only the back of the hand is seen, they imagine 
it has disappeared. Afterward he slips the watch into 
his vest pocket. 

"Now for the rabbit," he says. Picking it up by ita 
ears, he remarks : ' ' Plucky little creature ! It never com- 
plains, no matter how much you hurt its feelings. An 
American, I should say from its pluck. No Welsh rabbit 
about that." Standing at one side of the chair, the 
rabbit in his left hand, he opens the newspaper over the 
back of the chair, and laying the rabbit on it draws the 
front of the paper toward the left hand so as to cover 
the rabbit, and as he reaches down as if to take up the 



overhanging part of the sheet at the hack of the chair, 
the rabbit is dropped into the bag. See Fig. 164. The 
paper is gathered up in the shape of a bundle, so as to 
appear as if it held the rabbit, the ends are twisted, and 
the parcel laid carefully on the seat of the chair. "Now 

Fig. 164 

for the crucial moment," exclaims the magician. Pick- 
ing up the bundle he moves it three times toward the box, 
and then suddenly smashing the ends together throws it 
on the floor. The box is lowered, and, while the eyes of 
the audience are fixed on it, the performer takes the 



watch from his pocket, and as the box nears the table he 
reaches out, as if to steady it, and hangs the watch on the 
hook that IS on the front side of the box, which is turned 

Pig. 165 

toward the back of the stage. The boxes are opened and 
piled one on top of the other, and when the last one 
IS reached the watch is taken from where it hangs and 
hung on the end of the dangling ribbon. See Fig 165 



The last box is opened, and as the rabbit is taken out the 
ribbon is twisted once or twice around its neck. The 
squirming creature is then carried down to the owner of 
the borrowed watch, who identifies his property. 

When this trick is exhibited on the stage the performer 
generally ends it in a very striking way. When he re- 
turns to the stage he places the rabbit on a large table 
at the back of which is an open bag or box. Picking up 
a pistol, he stands behind the table, his right side turned 
in the direction of the audience. Catching hold of the 
rabbit, he tosses it twice in the air, and the third time 
makes a motion as if to throw it, and at the same moment 
discharges the pistol. The audience are startled by the 
report, and before they recover from the shock the rabbit 
has been thrown into the bag at the back of the table. 
The rabbit has, apparently, disappeared in midair, and 
the performer walks toward the footlights bowing his 
acknowledgments of the applause he is sure to receive. 
The trick is not yet quite done. Suddenly stopping, the 
performer smiles and points at a man in the audience, 
some one seated near the stage. "Ah! sir," he says, 
"you are trying to play a trick on me, I see. You have 
something hidden under your coat. ' ' Hurrying toward 
the man on whom all eyes are now turned, the performer 
pulls open the innocent man's coat as if searching for 
something. Abandoning the breast, however, after a 
moment, the performer runs his right arm down the 
neck of the coat. This gives him the opportunity to get 
close to the man, and as his (the performer's) body is 
thus concealed he takes with his left hand a rabbit from 
a large pocket in the tail of his coat, and thrusts it up 



the back of the man's coat as far as possible. "Will 
you help me, sir?" the performer asks some one seated 
near ; and as the audience look at the new assistant, the 
performer reaches down the back of the first man's coat 
and pulls out the rabbit. It is not very polite to the 
rabbit, but as for the performer— well, the audience ap- 
plaud and shout with laughter. Of course, the per- 
former apologizes to the man who has been somewhat 
roughly handled. 

There is another popular form of the Nest of Boxes, 
which to an audience seems almost identical with the 
one just described, but is entirely different in its manip- 

A large box hangs from a support of some kind from 
the moment the curtain goes up. When the performer 
reaches the trick in his program, he goes down among the 
audience holding in his right hand, by one end, a little 
stick, the wand of the conjurer, and asks for the loan of 
four or five finger-rings from some ladies. As they are 
offered he extends the wand with the request that the 
rings be slipped on it, "so that I do not handle them." 
When he has borrowed the required number he returns to 
the stage, and on his way, grasping the other end of 
the wand with his left hand, he tilts the borrowed rings 
into it and allows a number of brass rings, which have 
been concealed in his right hand, to take their place on 
the stick. These rings he drops on a plate from the 
stick. The plate lies on the stage near the footlights, 
and directly under it is a hole. See Fig. 166. The per- 
former immediately picks up the plate with his left hand, 
and as he stoops to do this he drops the borrowed rings 



into the hole in the stage, where they are received by one 
of his assistants, who hurries of£ to place them in the 
little box in which they are finally found 

Fig. 166 

Picking up an old-fashioned horse-pistol,— which he 
informs the audience was originally a Colt's,— the per- 
former drops one of the rings into the barrel and rams 
it down. He pretends to find the next ring too large 
and batters it with a hammer, to the delight of every one 
in the audience except the owners of the rings. "There 
that will go in now," he says, and rams it down. So 
he continues, until all the rings are in the pistol. Point- 
ing at the box that is hanging in full sight, he remarks, 
"This is one of my aims in life. Let us hope it will 
succeed," and bang! goes the pistol. As the barrel of 
this particular pistol is disconnected from the hammer 
and the trigger, merely a cap explodes, but that answers 
every purpose. 


While the attention of the audience was directed to 
the performer during the loading of the rmJZT.l 

f small w j^^^^^^^ ^ to admit 

a small box, which rests on a shelf under the table top 

the tro/rr;/'^ ^^^^ - 'h 

he boS at !h 11 . ! P'^'^™^^ down 

the box at which he fired the pistol, he places it on this 

ox So h?:o'' '^M"'' '^'^^^ a -eond 

he has thrL " T' ^^^^^^^ until 

ne has three or four stacked up. Finally he reaches 
a lo^ that ^s lottomless. This he places over the onen 

he footli^h?"^ --Iks Lard 

the footlights box m hand. He unlocks this and finds 
still another box which, when opened, reveals the bor 

ries those to the owners, who identify their property 

Returning to his stage, the performer pick np a 
champagne-bottle, with the remark: "As some siLht 
turn for your kindness in lending me your r Lt T . 

hear a eall Zi tuZtJ^^'^^^Z t ZT'T 
of the rings has not been returned ^ TnV^ TJ u f 

instant death? What vou likp " "J'' ^.^^^^y lightning, 
er, asks the first person he comes to what he wiU 



have. Pretending to hear a call for water, he says, 
"Water? Certainly, sir; pure Adam's ale," as he goes 
through the motions of filling the glass, but covering 
the mouth of the bottle with his fingers so that nothing 
comes out. "The real article, is it not?" and he throws 
what is left on the floor. He passes rapidly from one 
to another and gives each one, serving, perhaps, half a 
dozen, some sweetened whisky— the same to all, no mat- 
ter what is asked for, but calling out the name of a dif- 
ferent liquor each time. He serves only a sip at a time, 
for it is only the neck of the bottle, which is plugged at 
the bottom, that contains the liquor. When through 
with this farce, the performer returns to the stage and, 
calling for a hammer and a tray, breaks the bottle, and 
behold! inside is a wriggling little guinea-pig with a 
ribbon round its neck, to which is attached the missing 
ring and a tiny bouquet. 

For a simple trick nothing is more effective than this 
one. To prepare the bottle, the bottom is first removed. 
This may be done by tapping it gently with a hammer 
or it may be cut off by a glass-worker. In the first case, 
which is the better, a false bottom of wood or tin is 
used ; in the second, the bottle is cemented together with 
a little shellac varnish, colored with lampblack. Here 
and there a hole is drilled in the sides of the bottle to 
give air to the pig. While the bottom is off, a plug is 
fitted tightly inside the bottle near the neck, and melted 
paraffin is poured over it to prevent any leak. It is in 
the space between this plug and the mouth of the bottle 
that the liquor is held. In the lower part of the bottle 
the guinea-pig, with the ring attached to it, is placed 


trouble I?/ """'Y ^''^'"^^ ^'"''^ time, 
bottle in l r r ^PP^r P-rt of the 

bottle,_ including the neck and about a quarter of the 
body IS of copper. Inside, a little below the neck is a 
sohd bottom, and to this is soldered the metal « 
Ja!»f ""^r'^'T ^[""' ^^^^ ^« ^ "Mason 

the metal bottle, where it ends in a hole, is a metal tube 

tse^'wh".' ' ^"'"^"P^^- ^^^'^ the Jar 

itse f, which IS painted black inside, is screwed It fits 

well up into the metal body and completes its form 

dT: ptivrTl?^^ '""T'-''^' — - - 

Tham " %^;^^bf the trick the Jar is broken with 
a hammer. To replace it is less than half the cost of a 
champagne bottle, and is no trouble. ^ cost ot a 

A Floral Tribute: 

The performer borrows a man's hat and places it on 
his table; then he asks the ladies to lend him four or five 
nngs. These he ties with a bit of ribbon and hands lo 
some lady, asking her to hold them. 

Then he breaks an egg into a tin onr. o.,^ • 
to the o„e ,h„ hoM/L rinTeZrw~"« 

Naturally, the lady drop, the rings into the cup. 



"No, no, madam," the performer cries, starting back 
as if in astonishment, "not in the cup! In my hand. 
However, it is too late now. How shall I get the rings 

Returning to his stage, he pours the egg and the rings 
from the cup into the hat, which is on the table. 

"Who lent me the hat?" he asks. "You, sir? Then 
I shall get you to help me fish the rings from this mess." 

Going to the owner of the hat, the performer turns 
the so-called "mess" on to his head, whereupon, to the 
surprise and admiration of the audience, there is seen 
on top of the man's head a lovely wreath of flowers to 
which are attached the borrowed rings. 

When the performer borrows the hat he receives it 
with his left hand, and takes it to his table, where he 
lays it on its side. On his way to the table, his back 
being to the audience, his left hand approaches the left 
lapel of his coat and opens it a trifle, while he releases 
with his right hand from under the left breast of his coat, 
close to the sleeve, a small wreath of flowers which is 
concealed there hanging from a hook. An excellent hook 
for this purpose is sold for use on a lady's dress. It has 
broad, rounded points that will not tear, and at its back 
is a safety pin. As he takes it out, he brings the hat 
close to his breast and thrusts his right hand, with the 
wreath, into it. Should the movement be noticed at all, 
it will merely appear as if the hat were being passed 
from one hand to the other. As the wreath drops into 
the hat, the performer seizes the brim with his right 
thumb inside the hat, the fingers outside, and holds it 
stationary till he reaches the table ; the left hand drops 
to his side. 



Before he goes to borrow the rings the performer holds 
concealed in his right hand four cheap, gilt rings, which 
he takes from a hook attached to his trousers' leg and 
hidden by his coat tail ; under his left arm is his wand, 
which he has picked up from his table. As he ap 
proaehes the ladies, from whom he is to borrow the rings, 
he takes the wand from under his arm and slips the imi- 
tation rings over one end, keeping them covered with his 
hand. As the rings are olfered to him he receives them 
as explained in the second part of The Nest of Boxes. 

Putting the fingers of his left hand into the lower 
pocket of his waistcoat, he leaves the rings there and 
takes out a piece of bright colored ribbon. With this 
he ties together the dummy rings, hands them to a lady 
who is seated at a distance from the owners of the bor- 
rowed rings, and requests her to guard them carefully 
between her two hands. 

On his table are the egg and the cup. Eetuming to 
the stage, the performer breaks the egg into the cup, 
and going to the lady who holds the rings induces her, 
as already told, to drop them into the cup. 

This cup is double or, rather, there , are two cups one 
inside the other. In the inner one the bottom is not 
at the extreme end, but is set up about an inch and a 
half, as shown by the dotted lines in the illustration A, 
Fig. 167, so as to leave a space at the lower end, and 
there is a slight cut there to allow the air to escape. 
The upper edge of this cup is turned outward so that 
it will rest on B, and may be easily lifted out. 

"With the rings, apparently, in the cup, the performer 
returns to his table, and as he turns the hat over on its 
crown, drops into it the borrowed rings, which he has 



taken from his pocket. Pretending to measure the depth 
of the hat he lowers the cup into it for just a moment, 
and, as he does so, leaves B. inside. This he does in a 
half hesitating way, as if uncertain what to do, and then, 
as if fully decided, lifts out the cup and pours the con- 
tents of A into B, though apparently into the hat. At 

Fig. 167 

the last moment as A disappears for a fraction of time, 
it is fitted again into B, and the two cups are brought 
out together. As if some of the egg is on his fingers, the 
performer pretends to wipe them on the hat, and while 
doing so attaches the borrowed rings to tiny hooks or 
bits of wire on the wreath. After this, he hurries to the 
owner of the hat, and turns the wreath and the rings 
out on his head. 

When presenting the trick in a private room or a 
small hall it is advisable to have the bottom of the cup 
B covered with a thin lining of cork, so as to deaden the 
sound made by the rings when they are poured from one 
cup to the other. 

A Curious Omelet: 

One of the best tricks of the old time conjurer was 
that in which he baked a cake or a pudding in a hat. It 
always created a laugh — generally at the owner of the 



hat — and was, consequently, popular. The trick we are 
about to explain while much the same is widely differ- 
ent. How they differ may best be told by describing 
the latest version. The performer begins by borrowing a 
silk hat, or, as he says, "a tall hat or no hat at all." 
"I want to show you," he continues, "the most improved 
method of cooking, without range, gas or oil stove or 
even a chafing dish. I would especially direct the atten- 
tion of young unmarried ladies and of bachelors, young 
and old, to the advantages of this method. For my own 
part, I am delighted with it. Let me give you an ocular 
demonstration of what may be done with it, for example, 
let us try an omelet." 

He deliberately breaks an egg and drops it visibly 
and unmistakably into the hat. This he follows with 
flour from a dredging-box and salt from a salt-cellar. 
"Don't forget the salt," he says, "if you would have a 
palatable omelet." Finally, he beats up the mixture 
with a spoon, and then, of a sudden, there is a burst of 
flame from the interior of the hat. Clapping a plate 
on the opening of the hat, the performer turns it over, 
and produces— not an omelet, but a large and beautiful 

The apparatus for this trick is not at all complicated, 
and if our readers will follow our directions carefully' 
they need have no trouble in preparing it. It consists 
of a tin cylinder, four and a half inches in height and 
five inches in diameter. It is open at both ends, but in 
the middle there is a partition that divides it into an 
upper and lower part, as in A and B, Fig. 168. This 
partition also forms a bottom for both parts, A and B, 
depending on the position of the cylinder, whether A 



or B is uppermost. In the center of the partition is a 
hole, C, an inch and a quarter in diameter, which is 
crossed by a small bolt, D. Secured to the bottom of 
A by four upright pieces of spring brass that clamp 
it at different points, is a tin box, E, Fig. 169, which 

has a tightly-fitting hinged cover.* So much for part A. 
Securely soldered to the bottom of B is one end of a 
slightly tapering spiral spring, F, measuring four and 
a quarter inches in diameter at the larger end and four 
inches and a half in length. The smaller end of the 
spring is soldered to a disk of strong tin, H, that is 
three inches in diameter. One end of a stout wire, J, 
three inches long, is soldered to the center of this disk, 
and the other end is twisted into a ring. The ring end 
passes through the hole C in the partition and the bolt, 
D, is run through the ring, thus closing up the spring 
and holding it safely. The cylinder inside and out and 
both sides of the partition are painted a dull black. At 
three-quarters of an inch below the edge of A, around 
the edge of the disk H, and around the cylinder at a 
point in B just below the partition, tiny holes are 

The box E. 
Fig. 169 

Fig. 168 

* The drawing of this box, E. Fig. 169, is greatly out of 
proportion, for the original is a very small box. 


punched to admit of a needle being passed in and out 
for sewmg. The work on the cylinder being finished 
tlie_ outside IS covered with chints that is printed with 
designs of bright-colored flowers on a dark ground 
Good paste with a few strong stitches will do this work 
When that is done the spiral spring, F, is also covered 
tTe botto^' °' • -t-ds from 

shouM he . """'S^"'' ^ *° ^^^^ H; this 
e^HndeA ^^^side of the 

cylinder and also on the bag are sewed muslin artificial 

whit wiin T""^ ^^^^^ - - to mak 

what will look like a large, handsome bouquet. When 

the spiral spring is pushed up inside of B and fasrened 

Thk^L?"'" \«"" ■■^M is a small iron .p„„„ 
r^H. , «o I«k Ufa the metoi 

am he sticks part of a wax match in the center of a 



near his face, as if to read the maker's name, his right 
hand passes over the mouth of the hat and drops the 
handkerchief inside. Going to his table he stands the 
hat on it and begins to tell what he is about to do, as 
already narrated. Passing to the back of his table he 
picks up the hat with his left hand and looks into it. 
"Ah," he says, "the gentleman has left something 
here." He shakes out the handkerchief, pressing his 
left thumb on some part of it as it falls, so as to half- 
stop it for the moment, and at the same time his right 
hand takes up the "bouquet." The mouth of the hat 
is turned down, and near the top of the table. The 
performer pushes the handkerchief, that is now out, 
with the brim of the hat, toward the front of the table. 
Leaning over as if to look more closely at the handker- 
chief, the hat is, naturally, drawn toward the back edge 
of the table for a second, and in that second he claps 
the "bouquet" into it. If done deliberately, carefully, 
and not too hurriedly, no one is the wiser. Of course 
the part B goes in first. On the table stand an empty 
dredging-box, supposed to contain flour, a glass salt- 
cellar, filled with white paper, a plate with an egg on it, 
and a dinner-knife. Deliberately putting a hand inside 
the hat, the performer opens the box E, then picking up 
the egg, he breaks it with the knife, and drops it into 
the box. He again puts his hand into the hat and 
closes the box, and as he brings his hand out, wipes 
his fingers, apparently, on the brim of the hat. Then 
he pretends to shake in flour and salt, and finally calls 
for a spoon. His right hand rests for a second on the 
table, and picks up the packet of red fire. Just then 
his assistant enters with a spoon on a plate. The bowl 

Of the spoon has been held in a gas light till it i. .7 

pretends to stir up the omelet and laying the red 
fire the box E, touches the head of the nfateb^. ' 

tul says the performer. "Everyone enjoys that ex 

.T, . ? he closes E, carefully 

draws the bolt B, which causes the spring P to extend 
-d claps a plate over the mouth of the hat whTch he 

bouque , so that all may see and admire it. Throughout 

ept up. The tnck is not difficult, but requires prac- 
tice to carry it out well and also good acting. 

The Coffee Trick: 

iuli?t ^^7^""" professional con- 

jurer is that known as the "Coffee Trick " l-i.., t, 
"hiehfalritm" +ui v^uuee iricjf, though some 

Mocha " i Lt T' "Marabout 
Mocha, s better for a program. It has the advantage 
too, of not conveying any idea of what the trick is to 
The trick IS as suitable for the drawing-room as for 

lee. Remember, wUh a little practice, for, like eve^ 

Ses to do b^'?*- ? -.necessary if the performer 
to SlL^^^^^^^^ and skill and so as 

When about to present this trick the performer has 
on a table three large wooden boxes, a large gobleT 
shaped glass jar, and two German silver "shakefs'' or 



cups, such as are used in mixing the lemon-juice, ice, 
etc., for a glass of lemonade. In one of the boxes is a 
quantity of bran, in another some pieces of chopped- 
up white paper, and in the third a similar lot of blue 
paper. These, with two pieces of black velvet, each 
about nine inches square, and a paper cylinder, are all 
that appear to be used in the trick. Picking up one 
shaker, the performer fills it with white paper, and im- 
mediately pours its contents back into the box. Again 
he dips the shaker into the box, and, with a shoveling 
motion, fills it and stands it on a table so that everyone 
may see it. The other shaker he fills in the same way, 
but with the blue paper. Finally, the glass jar is 
filled with bran and stood on a table by itself. Over 
one shaker is spread one of the velvet squares and on 
top of it is placed a small, round, metal plate. The 
other shaker is covered with the second velvet square, 
but without any metal plate. 

"Eemember," says the performer, "this cup is filled 
with white paper, and that one with blue"; and pulling 
the velvet piece off one cup he pours from it into a 
small pitcher about a pint of milk. "The milk of hu- 
man kindness, as extracted from the daily press." Ee- 
moving the metal plate and the velvet from the second 
cup, he pours from it into the first cup "steaming Mocha 
coffee. No grounds for complaint." Picking up the 
paper cylinder, he drops it over the upper part of the 
glass jar, and lifting it up almost immediately, it is 
found that the bran is gone and the jar is filled with 
lump sugar. 

It is a showy trick which is generally followed by 
applause, that sweetest of music to a performer. 


"""-f ^^P'^ ^ duplicate shaker, one filled malk the other with coffee. Fitted into the mouth 

1 nnt the edges flar- 

out so as to rest on the mouth of the cup 

soldered a semicircle of stiff wire about the size of 
a dime, so that the performer may easily grasp it. On 
each saucer is glued some bits of the paper with which 

util?-' ':'T""-^ '^^^'^^ «tand 

upright in the box, in such position that the wire piece 

of the saucer will be toward the performer when he is 
ready to remove the velvet cover. As he shovels the 
paper into the shaker he leaves that one in the box 
grasps the other filled with milk or coffee, and brings it 
out, some of the loose bits of paper clinging round the 
top. These he brushes off carelessly, and in doing so 
when necessary, adjusts the shaker so that the wire 
finger-piece will be in the proper position. In covering 
the shakers the performer takes hold of the velvet covers 
so that the thumbs are under the cover and the fingers on 
top, and with these he catches hold of the projecting 
finger-piece, lifts up the saucers and draws them off 
dropping them instantly into a padded box or a bag 
fastened at the back of the table. 

As the glass jar is transparent it follows that a mere 
saucer of bran in its mouth would not do, so resort is 
had to another device. A hollow shape of tin, slightly 
tapering, that fits loosely in the jar is used. The iLer 
end, which is the top, is slightly larger in circumference 
than the top of the goblet, and is closed while the bottom 
IS open. Bran is glued over the outside of the shape 
and some loose bran is spread over the top The shape 



is filled with lump sugar, placed inside a second jar and 
stood inside the box of bran. When the first jar is put 
into the box, ostensibly to be filled, the performer ex- 
changes it for the second. This he takes out and shows 
it apparently filled with bran. It is covered with the 
paper cylinder, which goes on loosely, and in removing 
this the performer grasps the overlapping top, through 
the paper, lifts out the tin shape and the sugar falls 
into the jar. As the shape is taken out, the performer's 
hand passes carelessly over the box of bran, into which 
the shape is dropped. At almost the same moment the 
paper is crumbled up, and tossed into the audience. 
The trick is so neatly done, and is, withal, so simple, 
that he must be a bungler, indeed, who cannot deceive 
even a clever audience. 

As a pretty wind-up for the trick we would suggest 
the following: Have a large cup, in the shape of a 
eotfee-eup, made of tin and painted white so as to resem- 
ble china. The inside of the cup is divided in two by 
a partition. At one side of this partition, in the bottom 
of the cup, is cut a small hole. The other side of the 
partition is filled with paper "snow," that is, tiny bits 
of white paper. 

Set the cup in a very deep saucer, which may also be 
of japanned tin. After the performer has produced the 
coffee, he pours out some for himself, using the trick cup. 
Of course, the coffee is poured into that side of the cup 
that has the hole in the bottom. The result is, the cof- 
fee runs out into the saucer, but the audience cannot 
see this. When the cup is apparently full, the per- 
former walks down to the footlights, cup in hand, in- 
dulges in a little pantomime to convey the idea that 


and instead ol coffee i^i, „„l , T 

white paper n t" ' " °' l""" of 
the ^aLTJ:/ rp^Z::;!-^; on 

havp sai'ri >v.„i i^eiiormer, and the trick, as we 

ioZZt: " ^''"^ "> -^-^'^ Pe"- 

i»4norsra^": a, o,p„,. 

' I'O, measuring from 

its top to the bottom of the base abmit ■ . 

height and four inches in diam ter j ? 7""'' 
out preparation, as may be s^n whef i i:tanL"^''; 
for examination. Accomnanvincr +1 ■ 
embossed leather, lineTrhTe^;'!:^^^^^^^ f 
give it a body. It is made to J f ^^P'^''' *° 
which it is intended as r ^' fi- 

ends. On a taMet^: dV:::^/ofth: '-'^ 

lighted candles in candlesticks 



Before beginning the trick, the performer allows both 
vase and cover to be examined. Then he stands the 
cover on his table and proceeds to put some cotton 
M^ool from a box into the vase. This done, he puts on 
the cover for a moment, and on removing it, stoops over 
and breathes into the mouth of the vase. Instantly the 
cotton wool bursts into flame and almost as rapidly 
goes out. Picking up a tray on which there are cups 
and saucers, the performer pours from the vase fragrant, 
boiling coffee. 

This trick differs in most respects from the first version. 
The top of the conjurer's table is covered with a black 

Pig. 171 

baize or velvet; about seven inches from the front and 
six from one end is cut a round hole, four and a half 
inches in diameter; this is not discernible by the audi- 
ence as everything below it is of a dull black. Directly 
under this hole is a sort of elevator. Pig. 171, made of 


^^^^^^^^ '^^'^ runs a grooved 
block, which ,s pulled up and down by a string on pu 
leys nxoved by an assistant behind the scenes or, if pre- 
terred, by a simple clockwork controlled by* the per 
ormer The top of this block, at the center, I hoLwed 
out to the depth of half an inch, and in this holTow 
stands a tm cylinder, filled with hot coffee. Th s cy in 
der which IS to be a lining for the vase A, must fit 
ightly m A at the mouth, but the bottom tape s^Hghtly 
and IS rounded, as shown in the illustratio^ so that H 
^ay go into the vase easily. The outside oJthis cy in 
der as well as the elevator and block are painted a duU 
black. Around the inside of the mouth of this cylinder 
Wg some loose guncotton is fastened by fine to, 

thJir T P;"^,«™^r ^« pitting the cotton wool into 
the vase, he stands the cover directly over the hole £ 
the table, and in the brief moment it is there the itin^ 
run up inside of it. Then he picks up the cover an| 
with It, the lining, covers A, leaving the lining Tnside 

-or. Aiithat":e;:2isistrr^^^^^^ 

bis purpose, he has palmed in his left hand a meM 2l 

IrlTZT f r r center of thfst 

brazed (not fastened by soft solder) a bit of bras, 
tubing, an mch in length and not larger in d am te' 
ban an ordinary leadpencil. Into this tub ng is Xek 
a piece of wax taper. After the v««p /^'"^/^ ^t^ck 
the table and before it fs covered the t " ""^ °" 
the candles nearer to the front . T""" ^"^'^ 

The first candle he picks^ hi ^ffCd^/t 



he changes its position gently blows on the light; as it 
flickers, he places his right hand around it as if to shield 
it from the draft. The second candle he picks up with 
his right hand (his left side must be toward the audi- 
ence) and repeating his action with the first, shields it 
with the left hand, which gives him an opportunity to 
light the taper. When he stoops over the vase, to 
breathe on it, his open hands naturally go up one on 
each side of it, and just a touch of the lighted taper 
fires the guncotton. It burns out in a second; he pours 
the coffee into the cups and serves it out to his audi- 

The Growth of Flowers : 

No prettier trick was ever presented to an audience 
than this. It was originally introduced in London by 
Colonel Stodare, and was brought to this country in 1867 
by Joseph M. Hart, better known as M. Hartz, the Man 
with "The Devil of a Hat," and later was invariably 
included in Kellar's program. In exhibiting this trick 
the performer uses two tables draped nearly to the 
floor (in the original production three tables were used, 
but Kellar used two only). On the top of each is 
a circular piece of metal supported on light wire legs. 
Attention is first called to a cardboard cone open at 
both ends, and positively empty as the audience may 
readily see. Besides the tables and the cone there are 
two flowerpots, made of pasteboard, to resemble the 
common red clay pots. These are filled with sand. 
They are placed on the little metal stands that are on 
the table, and as there is considerable space between 
the top of the stand and the top of the table it does 


A very natural eilanTol or as aU ta^ " r'""' 
brings up the f owers. This ca e h™. ^ ' """^ 
different, as our readers t l uo-J"",::™' "b T™?f 
cone that the audience see ,^,.^Z ""^££?-"^ 

pot PrZ tWs di „ ""° »' » flower- 

np to tC top of S tr"" ™g 

aat hooh iusi^e°4r:„r:ud'trr z ^ ?r,-- ^ 

covers the a wer 'ot ^A™', 
from the top a role bnd t ■ *ops 
•oaded spikefs: thS it^ti fS ruretlV"-^'™"' 
np, into the sand. This ,„il„ t,! t , ' 

POO- or ,ro. his tah,r/n?ho^ds\t - t^^^^^^^^^^ 



and third fingers of his right hand which goes inside 
the top of the eone, as he is about to cover the pot. 
Now comes the most important move of the trick. The 
performer stands with his right side to the table, and 
lifting the cone to show the bud, he lets it drop in the 
most natural way over the eone that contains the first 
bush. Seizing the two cones with his fingers inside, he 
passes back of the table and stepping out on its right 
(as it faces the audience) he carries with him the loaded 
cones in his right hand and the flower pot in his left, 
to show the bud. This flower pot he replaces on its 
table. Then he covers it with the cone and releasing 
the ring inside the second cone, lifts off the two cones, 
revealing the bush standing in the pot. As he lifts the 
cones he drops them over the third cone, that is back 
of the second table, and almost immediately passes back 
of the table, to the front, carrying the three cones with 
the second bush. It might seem as if the audience 
would notice this movement, but it is so natural and the 
eone is out of sight for such a brief moment, that nine 
out of ten people in the audience would declare, if 
asked, that they had not lost sight of it for a second. 

Going now to the undraped table on which he stands 
the second pot, the performer covers that and as he raises 
the cone he turns the mouth momentarily toward the 
audience so that they see it is empty. The attention 
of the audience, however, is so fixed on the second bush, 
that they hardly give a glance at the cone. 

Several attempts have been made to improve this trick, 
so as to do away with the draped tables. One of these 
is worth mentioning on account of its ridiculous ending. 
The performer who attempted this improvement decided 


that he would have the flowers run up from below into 
the cone, as it rested for a moment on the stage. The 
idea proved better than the esecution, for on the first 
night when the performer gracefully rested the cone 
on the stage a trap opened on the opposite side, and a 
bush was thrust up in full sight of the amused audience. 

A real improvement on the trick was devised by that 
graceful and brilliant performer, Mr. Karl Germain 
whose retirement from the stage is regretted by all who 
have had the pleasure of witnessing his performance. 

In his version, a single uncovered flower pot stood 
on a table. Standing near it Germain began to fan 
the pot, when gradually there appeared to spring from 
It a few leaves. These were followed by buds, and then 
the plant mcreased in height until it was fifteen to 
eighteen inches above the top of the pot. That the flow- 
ers on It were real there could be no doubt, for the per- 
former cut them off and distributed them to the ladies 
in the audience. 

Before beginning the trick proper, the performer 
passes around for examination a flower pot filled with 
earth. This pot is in two parts, an inner and an outer 
part. The outer is a mere shell, without a bottom The 
inner, which contains the earth, is held in place by two 
bayonet catches or in any way that the ingenuity of 
the performer may suggest. When he returns to his 
stage, he rests the pot for a moment on a side table 
while he turns to speak to the audience. As he stands 
the pot on the table he releases the catches and the 
inner part sinks, of its own weight, through a trap 
The outer part or shell of the pot the performer finally 
places on his center table in a place that is hollowed 



out to receive the bottom part, which stands over an 
opening. Under this table is a tube leading up to the 
opening in the table top. Inside this tube is the bush 
fastened to a solid base, and at the proper time it is 
pulled up into the pot either by clock work or by cords 
leading off to a concealed assistant. The center table 
is of the three-legged variety, but is shaped so that all 
three legs may be seen from any part of the house. It 
is, in fact, almost a round frame with a triangular shaped 
top. The space between the legs is filled in with black 
velvet and back of the table hangs a handsome bright 
plush curtain, the lower part of which, from a distance 
of about four and a half feet above the stage, is of black 
velvet. The result is that the audience imagine that 
they see under the table. The effect is somewhat similar 
to that produced by a "Sphinx table," but requires 
fewer curtains and does away with the danger of break- 
ing expensive glasses. 

The Secret of Rope Tying: 

Since the days of the Davenport Brothers many con- 
jurers have exhibited rope tying. To shake off the most 
intricate of these ties is never very difficult, for it is only 
a matter of bringing a strain on the rope until one hand 
is free — which is soon done — and then the rest is plain 
sailing. But it is very different where one allows one- 
self to be tied tightly with rope, then frees oneself so 
as to perform seemingly impossible "stunts," and after- 
ward is found tied up as at first. That is what Mr. 
Kellar used to do. How he did it he never told us, 
and yet 

The Kellar Tie, we firmly believe, is just what is here- 



inafter described. The performer asks two of the audi- 
ence to assist him in the trick. To these gentlemen he 
offers a piece of sash cord two or three yards long and 
when they have pronounced it strong and perfect, he 
extends his left arm and requests them to tie the rope 
around the wrist, knotting it on the front of the wrist. 
When they have the rope tied in a satisfactory way the 
performer requests the gentlemen to stand slightly in 
advance of him, one at his right, the other at his left 
and each to take hold of an end of the rope. As 
they do this he extends his left arm, the hand open with 
the palm upward and the rope on that side passing 

between his first and second fingers, as shown in Fig. 172. 
Then the assisting men pull, and when they are satis- 
fied the performer puts his hands behind his back. As 

Fig. 173 

his left hand goes to his back the fingers on each side 
of the rope give it a twist (See Fig. 173) and lays it on 
the wrist with the bight of this twist pointing up the 



arm. Almost simultaneously the back of the right wrist 
is laid on the rope and pressing on it conceals the twist. 
The ends of the rope are now hanging down one on each 
side of the wrist. These the assistants, as requested, pick 
up and tie in a good, hard knot on the front of the right 
wrist, as in Fig. 174. The performer has gained his 
"slack" and is ready to proceed. He asks the gentlemen 

to stand a little in advance of him and close to him at the 
sides. As soon as they comply and thus shield him, he 
releases the pressure on the rope, the slack falls away, 
and he thrusts his right hand out in front of him. The 
next moment he puts it back in the loop of the rope, the 
left fingers twist the rope again, and the back of the right 
wrist and hand holds it pressed tightly against the left. 
With practice this is but the work of an instant. 

"That's all very fine," we hear some one say, "but 
his left wrist is still tied, and yet we have seen a per- 
former take off his coat, when his hands were tied be- 
hind his back and the ends of the rope were fastened, 
quite out of his reach, to the rounds of the chair on 
which he was seated. How was that done?" In this 
case he works in a cabinet or behind a screen so that 
he may not be seen. As soon as he goes into the cabinet 
he frees himself altogether from the rope, which he con- 

Fig. 174 



ceals on his person or somewhere in the cabinet, and 
substitutes another rope. This rope is prepared in the 
manner shown in Fig. 175. A A are two hard overhand 
knots; B is a strong tie. To get these in the right posi- 

Fig. 175 

tions the performer, long before he attempts to exhibit 
the trick, has his hands tied together loosely. They both 
point in one direction, but he turns them so that they 
will be in opposite directions. This will twist the part 
of the rope that is between the hands and he has the 
spots where the rope crosses marked with a pencil. 
Then the rope is untied and taken off his hands. The 
next move is to tie a hard overhand knot where the two 
marks are. Then his wrists, both pointing one way, are 
tied together rather tightly. At this time, the per- 
former twists his hands so that they point in opposite 
directions and that will bring the knots A A together 
and show them as if knotted firmly together. The tie 
on his right hand is an honest tie. With this rope con- 
cealed where he can get it easily, he steps into the cab- 
inet, rids himself of the first rope and proceeds to tie 
the ends of the second to the rounds of the chair so 
that he could not reach them when seated. Last of all 
he slips his hands into the loop of the rope, gives it 



a twist and calls a committee to examine and see that 
he is securely tied. Then follow raps, bell-ringing and 
other didoes. Finally, he throws his coat out of the cab- 
inet and calls for "Light!" being careful to tie himself 
up first. Again his hands are examined and appear to 
be fairly tied. "Now," says the perforiker, "will some 
gentleman hold my coat a moment and place his on my 
knees?" This is done, the cabinet doors are closed 
and when they are reopened, almost immediately, the 
performer has the gentleman 's coat on, though his hands 
are still tied behind him. "This is done," he says, 
"merely to convince you that a trick coat is not neces- 
sary. Now, one more test. I shall ask that gentleman 
to place my coat on my knees. As soon as the doors 
of the cabinet are closed, I shall throw out his coat, 
and I want to see whether he can get into it quicker 
than I can get into mine. ' ' The cabinet doors are closed 
once more and the man's coat comes flying out, but 
before he can get it on, for it is turned inside out, the 
performer steps from the cabinet, his coat on and the 
rope in his hands. It is needless to say that this time 
it is the original rope, the knotted one being concealed 
under his coat. 

In a magazine article published this year (1910) a 
gentleman well-known in the field of science describes a 
seance given by Mr. Fay, at one time manager of the 
Davenport Brothers. In the course of the seance Mr. 
Fay was tied up, according to the writer of the article, 
in such a way as to preclude the freeing of himself and 
yet he did most marvelous things. Let us assure our 
readers that Mr. Fay's tie was almost identical with the 
one we have just described, and depended, as most rope- 



tying tricks do, on gaining slach. That is the whole se- 
cret. Let -us add here, that Mr. Fay and Mr. Kellar 
were at one time associated in business. Verlum Sap. 

The Muslin Tie. While entirely different from the 
Kellar Tie this is quite as good and just as clever. The 
performer shows a number of strips of white unbleached 
muslin, each two feet long and two inches wide, and re- 
quests a committee from the audience to tie him with 
these. A strip is tied around each of the performer's 
wrists, and so tightly as almost to stop the circulation. 
The ends of the strips, four in all, are then tied together, 
so as to bring the wrists together behind the performer's 
back. If desired by the audience the knots may be 
sewed or sealed with sealing-wax. Two staples are 
driven into the door-jamb or into a stationary, upright 
post, one about twenty-four inches above the floor and 
the other about twenty inches higher, and from each 
there hangs a solid iron ring about two and a half inches 
in diameter. Seating himself on a campstool, his back 
against these rings, the performer has another muslin 
strip run through the ring and over and under the 
strips that bind his wrists. Still another strip is passed 
around his neck, tied and then tied to the upper ring. 
To all appearances he sits there unable to help himself 
in any way. To secure him still further, a rope is tied 
to each ankle and led out among the audience, and a 
nickle piece is laid upon each shoe so that he can not lift 
his knees without dropping a coin. A tambourine is 
placed on his knees and a hand bell is stood inside of it 
A screen is now put in front of him, so as to conceal 
him from the sight of the audience. Immediately the 
bell IS rung and thrown over the screen, the tambourine 



is shaken and that, too, goes flying in the air. The 
screen is removed, the performer is still seated on the 
chair, the knots are undisturbed. The tambourine is 
replaced on his knees and a goblet half -filled with water 
is stood on top of it. The screen is again placed so as 
to hide him, and when removed, the goblet is seen to be 
held, empty, between his lips, and is taken away by one 
of the committee. Then follow in succession a number 
of "manifestations," as for instance, an empty pail 

Fig. 176 

placed on his knees is found over his head; a piece of 
board with a hammer and nails is laid on a wooden- 
seated chair that is placed alongside him, the sound of 



hammering is heard and a nail is driven into the board; 
a guitar is thrummed, a horn is blown, and after each 
manifestation of assistance from some unseen source the 
knots are examined and in each case are found to be in- 
tact. Our illustrations, Figs. 176, 177, show very clearly 

Pig. 177 

what the "unseen source" is, to wit: the hands of the 
performer stretched around one side. It hardly seems 
possible, but the bandage that passes through the lower 
ring is always tied in five or six knots "to make it 
secure," the diameter of the ring helps, and so does the 
length of the staple; the bandage slips up the arm a 
little, and when the performer is about to reach around 
his side, he stretches his hands out as much as possible, 



and then pulls his body to the opposite side of the post, 
past the lower ring, and is able to reach anything that 
is placed on his lap. A small waist is necessary, and 
for this reason, a woman or a child is more successful 
with the trick than a man : one thing is certain, no one 
with a "corporation" will ever succeed in doing it. 

A Knotty Problem: 

The performer clasps his hands, and the crossed thumbs 
are tied tightly together with a strong cord. A man 
from the audience is asked to lock his hands and the 
next moment the performer's hands, still tied, are around 
the man's arm. Then they are "off again, on again." 
Standing behind the man, the performer's right hand 
comes suddenly in front, taps the man's face, and goes 
back again as suddenly as it came forward. Finally, a 
hoop, which examination has shown to be solid, is thrown 
toward the performer's hands, and is seen to be hanging 
on his right arm. Then it is as quickly thrown off. The 
tie on the thumbs is examined repeatedly and is always 
found intact. 

The secret of the trick is in the position of the fingers. 
When the performer clasps his hands the left forefinger 
is on top ; next to it is the right forefinger, then follow 
in this order: the left second finger, the right third 
finger, the left third finger, the right little finger, and, 
last, the little finger of the left hand. The right second 
finger, as the reader will notice, in Fig. 178, is free 
inside the hands. When the cord is placed under the 
thumbs, preparatory to tying them, this hidden finger 
catches it and pulls it down, holding it firmly. In this 
way enough slack is gained to enable the performer to 



release his thumbs at any moment, and yet to show them 
at any time tied tightly. The right finger, as the illus- 
tration shows, will not be missed. At the conclusion 

Fig. 178 

of the trick the performer pockets the cord, lest the 
undue size of the loop might lead to a solution of the 

A Second Method, Two men from the audience are 
asked to^ assist. The performer holds his open hands 
before him, about four inches apart, with the fingers 
extended at full length and the thumbs crossed. A light 
rope or a heavy whipcord, about three yards long, is 
then laid under the thumbs, well into the roots, and 
each assistant is requested to take hold of an end. 
"Now, sir," says the performer, turning to the man on 
his right, "please stand as far away as the rope will 
allow. And you, sir," addressing the second man, "do 
the same." As he speaks to them, the performer nods 
his head repeatedly and points with his hands toward 
the direction he wants them to go. The audience natu- 
rally watch the performer's face and their attention is 
taken away from his hands. As the second man moves 
away the performer, holding the rope tightly at the 
roots of the thumbs, brings his hands together, allowing 



the intervening part of the rope to fall between them, 
where it is held tightly. He now has all the slack he 
requires. The assistants are then asked to tie the rope 
tightly. When this is done a soft hat or a Derby is 
placed over the hands, and the performer is ready to 
exhibit the "stunts" described in the preceding method. 

A Third Method. In this method, known as the Ten- 
Ichi Tie, the performer uses two pieces of heavy twine, 
about fifteen to twenty inches in length, respectively. 
Around each is tightly wound a strip of Japanese pa- 

per, about an inch and a half in width. Both cords are 
knotted at the ends. Two men of the audience are 
invited to act as a committee and assist the performer. 
A cord is handed to each, with which they are to tie 
the performer's thumbs together. He puts his hands in 
the position shown in Fig. 179 and crosses his thumbs, 
the left thumb on top. The tip of his right thumb 
presses against the base of the left forefinger and the 
tip of the left thumb goes under the base of the right 
forefinger. The thumbs are held firmly in place so that 

Fig. 179 



the eord can not pass between them and the bases of the 
forefingers. The longer cord, at the direction of the 
performer, is now passed twice around the thumbs from 
A to B, and tied as tightly as the committee desire. 
The smaller eord is passed between the ball of the left 
thumb and the base of the right, forming a figure 8 
and from there over the right thumb, where both ends 
are tied together. To release himself the performer 
brings his hands together, extends his fingers, and drops 
the thumbs between his hands, as shown in Fig. 180. 

Then he slightly bends the first joint of the right thumb, 
when he can easily remove it from the cords — ^being 
careful not to pull — and as easily replace it. Then he 
shows the usual "manifestations," as already described 
in the foregoing methods. So quickly can he release and 
replace his thumb that there is no need of covering the 

At the close of the trick, the committee are requested 
to untie the knots, and, if necessary, to cut them. This 
the performer always requests, as it adds to the effect 
of the trick. 

The Knot of Mystery: 

One end of a cord is tied around one wrist of the per- 
former and then the knots are sealed. The other end 

Fig. 180 



of the cord is held by one of the audience. Turning his 
back for a moment or passing behind a screen the per- 
former causes a knot to appear upon the cord. A look 
at the accompanying illustrations will explain the secret 
of the trick better than many words. As soon as the 
cord is secured around his wrist the performer gains 
slack and makes a loop, as shown in Fig. 181. Taking 

Pig. 181 

Pig. 182 

hold of the cord at A he pushes it under the cord around 
his wrist in the direction indicated by the arrow. Pull- 
ing it through he brings it over his hand, leaving it in 
the position shown in Fig. 182. Again taking hold of the 
cord at A he draws it down and pushes it under the 
cord around his wrist. The cord will now be in the posi- 
tion shown in Fig. 183. Once more taking hold of the 
cord at A he brings it up and entirely over and around 
his hand, and when the cord is stretched it will be found 
that there is a knot on it, as shown in Fig. 184. This is 
a double knot, as the illustration shows. To get a single 



knot the procedure is slightly different. As wiU be seen 
in Fig. 182 the ends of the loop in the palm of the hand 
cross each other. If the cord is so twisted as to form 

Pig. 183 

Fig. 184 

a straight loop, as shown in Fig. 185, and the performer 
continues in the way already explained, the result will 

Fig. 185 

be a single knot, as seen in Fig. 186. Instead of having 
one end held it may be tied to the other wrist, and in 
that case the knot will be on the cord between the wrists. 



Two or three knots, one after another, may be made by 
simply repeating the procedure described and adjusting 
the space between the knots. 

Before the loop is placed around the hand, as shown 
in Fig. 182, a borrowed finger ring may be tied to the 

cord by simply dropping the ring over the loop and pro- 
ceeding in the manner explained. 

The Afghan Bands: 

This is a trick that many conjurers, professional as 
well as amateur, imagine they can do, but if they will 
read this they will find it a "somewhat different" expla- 
nation. The effect of the trick is that three strips of 
paper, each with its ends pinned together so as to form 
a ring, are cut around with a pair of scissors. The 
result is that, in one case, two rings are formed, as is 
to be expected. In the two other cases, however, 
although the procedure seems to be identically the same 
as with the first strip, the result is entirely different, 
for with the second strip only one ring is obtained in- 
stead of two rings, but twice the original size, and with 

Fig. 186 


the third strip there are two rings, but linked together 
These effects are obtained in the one ease by giving 
the strip one twist before pinning the ends together 
and in the second by giving it two twists. It is iust 
here that the trouble begins, when giving the double 
twists. Many performers avoid this difficulty by having 
the strips pinned together before beginning the trick. 
This IS one way, but it is not a good way. The twists 
may be made without attracting attention. For one twist 
the strip of paper is taken between the thumbs and fore- 
fingers, as shown in Fig. 187. Then the right hand is 

Fig. 188 

brought to the left in order to put the ends together, 
and as the hands approach the end in the right hand 
IS turned so that the parts marked A A, in Fig. 188, are 



laid together. The left hand must not move. The ends 
are then pinned together or fixed with a "paper fas- 
tener." When this strip is cut in two, lengthwise, it 
will make one large ring, double the original size. 

To make the two twists is even more simple. The 
strip is held as shown in Fig, 189. Keeping the left 

Fig. 189 Fig. 

hand in the position shown, the right hand is brought up 
and the lower end is simply placed on the end A, held 
by the left hand, as in Fig. 190. The movement is so 
natural that no one will suspect any "hanljy panky" 
work is going on. When the strip is cut, two rings, 
linked, will be seen. The third strip is simply brought 


together in the natural way, and when fastened and cut 
through lengthwise, two single loops will be the result. 
Strips cut from a newspaper answer admirably. They 
ought to be a yard long and an inch in width. 

In presenting the trick the performer may begin by 
handing them to three different persons, and then taking 
them back fastens them and cuts them, as already de- 

Mnemonics as Applied to Conjuring: 

While it is not within the province of this book to 
go into a study of a system of artificial memory, there 
are certain conjuring tricks frequently presented to the 
public as "Mental Phenomena," that have a system of 
this kind for their groundwork, as, for example, the fol- 
lowing which depend, mainly, on numbers, for their 
effects : ' ' Second Sight ; " the memorizing of a long list 
of words at one reading; the instantaneous raising of 
any two numbers to the cube or third power; the mem- 
orizing of a pack of cards or a set of dominoes, etc., etc. 
"Second Sight" can not be considered here, for the trick 
as exhibited to-day, with its varied codes, would need 
almost an entire volume to explain clearly, and calls for 
deeper, longer, and more continuous study than most 
conjurers would care to devote to it. Some of the other 
tricks, however, while also requiring some study, will 
we believe, prove interesting to our readers. 

The first step in this study is to learn so thoroughly 
that they may be recalled without the slightest hesitation 
(1) the Alphabet of Figures and (2) the Table of Fixed 
Ideas. In the first, the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 7 8 
9, are represented by letters, as follows:' ' ' ' ' 



The Alphabet of Figures 
T and D represent 1 

N represents 2 

M represents 3 

E. represents 4 

Ji represents 5 

J, eh, sh, zh, z in azure, g soft as in 

genius, represent 8 
K, C hard, G hard, and Q represent 7 
F and V represent 8 
P and B represent ^ 
S and Z represent ^ 

As will be seen, all these letters are consonants. The 
vowels a, e, i, o and u, and w, h, y are merely to form 
words, as, nail (n-1),— 25; chess (ch-s)=60. 

"But," asks the reader, "how shall I remember which 
consonant represents three or which eight f" Very eas- 
ily by bearing in mind that t is made with one down- 
stroke; n with two downstrokes; m with three down- 
strokes; r is the last letter of four, which has four let- 
ters ; L, in Roman notation is fifty, but with the cipher 
off it is five; J looks somewhat like a reversed six; K, 
inverted (3), is much like seven; ^ in script, resembles 
eight; p is a reversed nine; c is the first letter of cipher 
and stands for naught. 

The above are the primitive letters, and in practice 
each letter is pronounced as if it were followed by e, 
as, te, ne, me, re, le, je, lie, fe, pe, ce. Remember it is 
the sound, not the spelling, is the guide. The other 
letters are those that have similar sounds, as, for exam- 
ple, d, which sounds like t and represents 1 ; ch, sh, tch, 
zh, z in azure, g soft as in genius, sound like j, and stand 
for 6; g hard and q sound like h and stand for 7; 
V sounds nearly like / and stands f or 8 ; i is almost the 
sound of p and represents 9; s and z sound like c in 
cipher and stand for 0. As proof that these sounds are 



similar, the foreigner often says dai for that, chudche 
for judge. 

Silent letters, those that are not pronounced, have no 
value, as, for example, knife (n-f)=28; lamb (l-m) = 
53; gh in thought; I in palm. Double consonants are 
treated as one letter, as mummy (m-m)=33; butter 
(b-t-r)r=914; but if the double letters have distinct 
articulation, then each letter has its own numerical value, 
as, accept (k-s-p-t) =7091 ; bookkeeper (b-k-k-p-r) = 
97794. As the cipher never begins a whole number, s, 
which represents the cipher, may be prefixed to any 
other letter, as stone (t-n)=12; snow (n)=2. 

At first glance it may seem a difficult task to leam 
these letters and their equivalent numbers, but half-an- 
hour's careful study will generally prove enough for 
the greatest dullard. 

The next study is that of a table of one hundred words, 
known as a Table of Fixed Ideas, and this will prove 
to be time well spent, for by its aid most of the con- 
juring "stunts" are effected. By sounding to one's 
self the letters that represent the numbers the word may 
be easily recalled. It is advisable to prepare such a 
table for one's self, but those who do not care to go 
to that trouble will find the following good and per- 
fectly reliable. One thing, however, must be borne in 
mind, that this Table ought not be changed, once it is 


1 Tea 

2 T^oah 

3 Ma 

4 Hare 

5 AZe 9 Pie 

6 Shoes 10 Z)ice 

7 jffey 11 Z)aie 

8 Hive: 12 Den. 



13 Dime 

43 iZoom 

72 Oane 

14 Door 

44 iJower 

73 Comh 

15 Doll 

45 R&il 

74 Car 

10 Dish 

46 i2us?i 

75 CoaJ 

17 Dog 

47 RvLg 

76 Coac^i 

18 Dove 

48 iioof 

77 Oa&e 

10 Tub 

49 iJope 

78 C&ve 

20 Noose 

50 Lass 

79 C&b 

21 Note 

51 Lad 

80 jface 

22 2Vure 

52 Lion 

81 Foot 

23 G>iome 

53 Lime 

82 Fa.n 

24 JVero 

54 Lyre 

83 f'oajn- 

25 ^aiJ 

55 LiZy 

84 J'ire 

26 A^icTte 

56 Lasfc 

85 File 

27 a^asr 

57 Leg 

86 J'isfi, 

28 Kwife 

58 Lea/ 

87 Fig 

29 Kno6 

59 Lip 

88 i^'ife 

30 Maize 

60 Chess 

89 J-oft 

31 Mai 

61 S^ioi 

90 Boys 

32 Moon. 


91 Ba.t 

33 Mummy 

63 (?em 

92 Bone 

34 Mare 

64 O/iair 

93 Bomb 

35 Mill 

65 Shell 

94 Beer 

36 Ma,toh 

66 Jud^re 

95 Ban 

37 Muf; 

67 Cheek 

96 BusA 

38 Muff 

68 S/ia«e 

97 Boofc 

39 Map 

69 S/ieep 

98 Beef 

40 Rose 

70 Case 

99 B&hy 

41 R&t 

71 (7ai 

100 Doses 

42 Rain ' 

This Table being perfectly mastered, so as to call 
instantly the letter or word which represents a certain 
number, the pupil is prepared to learn some of the tricks 
made possible by a mnemonical system. To begin let 
us describe one which was introduced to this country by 



Cazeneuve, a wonderfully clever conjurer, when he vis- 
ited us in 1876. 

Handing out a pack of cards he allowed several per- 
sons in his audience to shuffle it and then to distribute 
the pack among themselves, as it suited them. He then 
requested them to arrange their cards in any order they 
pleased and to keep them in the same order. Going 
from one to another he rapidly looked at the cards, and 
retiring to his stage called off the names in the order 
they were arranged. In like manner he distributed a 
set of dominoes and some Loto cards, and these he called 
off after looking at them a moment. Finally he allowed 
one of the audience to select one of four or five volumes 
offered, and requesting that it be opened, preferably 
about the middle, he read off the first three, four, or 
five lines. The trick made a hit, especially with his 
audiences, who were mostly educated people. 

The cards, dominoes and Loto cards were all done on 
one principle, and as to explain one is to explain all 
we shall confine ourselves to an explanation of the cards. 

Each card in the pack is represented by a word. The 
initial letter of this word tells at once the suit, the words 
representing Spades beginning with S, Hearts with H, 
Clubs with C, and Diamonds with D. So far it is sim- 
ple. The other consonant or consonants in the word 
represent the number of spots on the card, according to 
the Alphabet of Figures, counting the Jack as eleven, 
the Queen as twelve, and the King, thirteen. As the 
preparation of these words requires some time and 
thought we give herewith the card list that we have 
used for years. 




1 Soot 

2 Sun 

3 Sesim 

4 Sore 

5 Sail 

6 Sash 

7 Sock 

8 Safe 

9 Soap 
10 Seeds 





















Hot tea 
Eaj time 




12 Stone 

13 Steam, 

11 Statue 





King is used as no other word could be found that 
would as well express the King of Clubs ; Deadhead may 
be represented by a shull; and as a Dudeen may not be 
a familiar word to some of our readers, let us say it 
means a short tobacco pipe. 

In' exhibiting the trick let us suppose that seven cards 
are taken from the pack at first, as, for example, the 
nine of diamonds, the deuce of hearts, the seven of 
spades, the four of spades, the six of clubs, the Queen 
of diamonds, and the ten of hearts. "When the con- 
jurer goes to the person who drew the cards, he asks, 
"How many cards have you, please?" and when he 
hears "seven," he at once pictures to himself a bea- 
table with, say, a large key lying on it, and remembers 
(without trying to remember) that seven cards have 
been drawn by the first person. Then he connects tea 
(the first word in the Table of Fixed Ideas) with dope, 
the nine of diamonds. How does he connect them ? In 



any way, as, for example, by comparing the two words 
and seeing in what way they are alike, in spelling, in 
appearance, in characteristics, in color, taste, or what 
not, or how they differ, or he may make a mental picture 
of the two things (not words), as, for instance, a man 
refusing a cup of tea because there is some axle-grease 
(which is dope) floating in it. We believe that the lat- 
ter method, that of making use of a mental picture, will 
prove the best for most persons. Proceeding he con- 
nects hen, the deuce of hearts, with Noah, the second 
word in the Table of Fixed Ideas, as, let us say, Noah 
looking out on the waters of the flood, while a hen is 
perched on his shoulder. Absurd, the reader may say, 
but absurd or not it does the work, and, in most cases, 
the more absurd the mental picture the stronger the 
impression will be, as he who does this work night after 
night can testify. For the second lot of cards let us 
suppose that twelve cards are drawn. The performer 
says to himself, seven and twelve are nineteen, and he 
immediately connects eight, hive, with nineteen, tub, and 
then the mnemonical name of the first card with hive, 
and so on to the end. Difficult and complicated as this 
may seem, we assure our readers that in practice it will 
be found most simple and always reliable. 

The reading of a book is very different. The books 
are all the same, but with different title-pages and cor- 
responding titles on the covers. Not only are they all 
the same, but they are made up of two pages only, re- 
peated over and over. The performer, as will be remem- 
bered, asks that a page about the middle of the book be 
selected, and in that way is assisted by the person who 
opens the book. 



Another trick that makes a good impression on the 
average audience is that of 

Memorizing at One Reading a Long List of Words Sug- 
gested by the Audience: 

This is a regular exercise with the teachers of Memory 
Systems, but as a irick it was first presented, to the best 
of our knowledge, by the senior editor of this book. It 
was introduced later in this country by Ernest Patrizio, 
a Spanish conjurer, who first appeared in New York in 
1878. It is simple and consists merely in connecting 
the words suggested by the audience with those in the 
Table of Fixed Ideas. "When this connection is clearly 
made there is no difficulty in repeating a hundred words 
in the order set down, or recalling them backward or 
telling the number any particular word or words occupy 
in the list. 

A somewhat similar trick, one that has proved some- 
thing of a puzzle to professional and amateur conjurers, 
is that commonly known as 

Kellar's Cube Boot Trick: 

As here presented we have substituted other cues for 
those used by Mr. Kellar, and, we believe, with advan- 
tage, but the method is identical with his. 

In several system of mnemonics as many as three and 
four Tables of Fixed Ideas are used, and in this cube- 
root method we use one that differs in most words with 
Table No. 1. 

In presenting this as a trick it is generally offered as 
something similar to the so-called "Lightning Calcula- 
tion, ' ' and not as a feat of memory. Mr. Kellar prefaced 



it with merely a few words in which he announced that 
if the audience would call out any one number or two 
numbers he would immediately write down the cube on 
the blackboard and he did. It will be seen by the fol- 
lowing Table that each number is represented by one 
word and the cube by a short sentence. These are con- 
nected in the .performer's mind, in the manner already 
described; the moment a number is called out he thinks 
of the word that stands for it and that word, if his table 
is properly memorized, will revive in his mind the word 
or sentence that stands for the cube. The cubes of tens 
are not noted here, as they can be recalled instantly by 
calling the cubes of units thousands, as, for example, 
the cube of 3 equals 27; the cube of 30 is 27,000; the 
cube of 7 equals 343; the cube of 70 is 343,000. Now 
for the Table itself. 

3 Ham 

2 7 
An Egg 

6 4 

4 Rye 


12 5 

5 Lie 


2 16 

6 Has;i 

On a dish 

7 Key 

3 4 8 

My room 

8 Kive 

51 2 

Wild Honey 

7 2 9 

9 Bee 

Go Nip 

13 3 1 

11 D&tB 

With my maid 

17 2 8 

12 Dine 

Take enough 

2 19 7 

13 Item 

Note book 

2 7 4 4 

14 Author 

Ink hirer 



3 3 75 

15 Tell 

Me meekly 

4 6 

16 Dish 

Rose bush 

4 9 1 3 

17 Talfc 

Ripe theme 

5 8 8 S 

18 rhief 

Love money 

6 8 5 9 

19 DsLub 

Shave a lip 

9 2 6 1 

21 Hand 


1 6 4 8 

22 Nun 

Does show her vow 

12 16 7 

23 iVame 

A dandy joke 

1 8 8 2 4 

24 ^ew Year 

With my fine rye 

1 5 6 2 5 

25 Wi?e 

Dull channel 

1 7 5 7 6 

26 'Wench 

Took all cash 

1 9 6 8 3 

27 I^af^ 

To buy each wife a home 

2 195 2 

28 Knave 

Neat plan 

2 4 8 8 9 

29 Nob 

No army fop 

2 9 7 9 1 

31 Mad 

In a big pout 

3 2 7 6 8 

32 ilfowey 

May now catch a foe 

3 5 9 3 7 

33 Mj Home 

Home will be Mohawk 

8 9 3 4 

May be a miser 

4 2 8 75 

35 Mule 

Ruin a vehicle 

4 6 6 5 6 

36 Swasfc 

Rich jewel show 

5 6 5 3 

37 Smo&e 

Lose a chilly home 

6 4 8 7 2 

38 JIfoue 

Lower a heavy can 

59 3 1 9 

39 My pay 

Help me to buy 

6 8 9 21 

41 JJoad 

Chief point 


74 88 

Across a five 

7 9 5 7 

Keep losing 

44: Rowqt 

8 5 18 4 

Awful diver 

9 112 5 

A bad tunnel 

A ti T>i ^1, 

9 7 3 8 8 

Big mummy show 

4 / KSLtCQ 

10 3 8 2 8 

Hits my wife numb 

4o Hough 

1 10 SB?. 

The head sea will open 

49 jBu6e 

1 1 7 6 4 9 

To take a chair up 

1 3 2 6 51 

The man child 

52 Lio«. 

1 4 6 8 

Dares chase a foe 

14 8 8 7 7 

Drove off a cook 

1 5 74 6 4 

54 Liar 

Idol crusher 

00 Liity 

1 6 6 8 7 5 

Dutch show my equal 

1 75 6 16 

00 ibtoucft 

Tackle a schottishe 

57 xjOoA; 

1 8 5 19 3 

The evil witty poem 

1 95 1 12 

Co T C 

08 jLoaf 

Double the weight now 

2 5 3 7 9 

59 Sioop 

When I sell my cup 

2 26 9 8 1 

61 Shod 

An inch by a foot 

2 3 8 3 2 8 

62 t/ane 

Name of my new wife 

25 4 7 

63 Chime 

Only uses a rock 

2 6 2 14 4 

64 C/iair 

No china drawer 

2 7 4 6 2 5 

65 £fAaUow 

Niagara channel 

2 8 7 4 9 6 

66 Judge 

No fake rubbish 

3 7 8 3 

67 Jofce 

Amuse a sick chum 




69 Shop 

71 Goat 

72 Coin. 

73 Come 

74 Choir 

75 Quill 

76 Coacfc 

77 Cook 

78 Ouff 

79 Cop 

81 Food 

82 Fine 

83 jPoam 

84 Fire 

85 jFaJl 

86 Fish 

87 l^'a&e 

88 Five 

89 J'op 

91 Pieiy 

92 Pony 

93 Poem 

94 Bar 

8 14 4 3 2 

May draw your moan 

3 2 8 50 9 
Woman feels happy 
8 5791 1 

Milk by the day 

S 7 3 3 4 8 

Make men rave 

3 8 9 01 r 
Move up a stake 

4 5 2 2 4 

Rose Hill nunnery 
42 18 7 6 

Worn out of gall 

4 3 8 9 7 6 
Remove baggage 

4 5 6 5 3 8 

Relish a oily mummy 

4 74552 

Sore, cruel line 

4 9 3 8 9 

Rip a museum up 

5 8 1 4 4 1 
Well made arrow root 

5 51 3 6 8 
Loyalty may shave 

5 7 1 7 8 7 
Liquid quaffing 

69 2 70 4 

Albany gas ray 

6 14 12 5 

Shatter town hall 

6 8 6 5 6 
Shame a choice leach 

6 5 8 5 8 

Shall a fool swim 

6 8 1 4 7 2 
Shaved a racoon 

7 4 9 6 9 

Kiss our bishop 

75 8 5 7 1 

Gloomy lookout 

7 7 86 8 13 
Kick a fish off a hive 

8 4 3 57 
Vassar Milk 

8 3 5 8 4 

Famous loafer 


QK p-17 8 5 7 8 7 5 

Vile chemical 

oflD 884738 

at) ra.ffe Favoring a mash 

o7 r> 7 ^ ^ 6 7 3 

VI I'AOK Beaten each game 

no D j^i! 9 4119 3 

98 Puff Part the bun 

onn 970299 

99 Pup Big as a nabob 

Let us caution our readers to observe carefully the ex- 
act sounds of the letters, the variations in sound of the 
same letter, and the silent letters, as, for example, g 
m judge is sounded like ch=6; in iaggage, the double 
consonants are sounded like a single K=7, whereas the 
third has the sound of ch=6; in chair the ch equals 
b. While m chemical it has the sound of K=7 These 
several sounds once mastered no further trouble will be 
experienced and no one, we believe, will regret the time 
devoted to the study of this branch of mnemonics. 

With Apologies to the Audience: 

A selected card is torn to pieces, and these, with the 
exception of one piece, are put into a small envelope 
which IS handed for safe keeping to the one who drew 
the card. A cigarette is borrowed, but when lighted it 
will not draw. On examination it is found that it con- 
tains the destroyed card, all but the one piece that is 
held by one of the audience. Then the envelope is 
opened, and instead of the pieces the tobacco of the 
cigarette is found inside. 

The properties for the trick are not at aU elaborate. 
The performer needs: 1. A pack of cards. 2 An imi- 
tation cigarette, made by tightly rolling around a lead 
pencil a duplicate of the card that is to be destroyed 


minus a small piece. The pencil is withdrawn and the 
card is wrapped in a bit of white paper. At the ends 
the paper is tucked into the card and closed by pasting 
on some cigarette tobacco, so that it will resemble the 
genuine article. 3. Two small "pay" envelopes. In 
one of these is a pinch of tobacco and the piece torn 
from the card in the fake cigarette. 4. A package of 
genuine cigarettes. 5. A box of matches. 

To exhibit the trick the package of cigarettes and the 
imitation article are in the left side pocket of the 
trousers. The two envelopes are in the right side pocket 
of the vest, and the box of matches is in the trousers' 
pocket on the right side. 

The card to correspond with the one in the imitation 
cigarette is on the top of the pack. Going to one of the 
audience the performer makes the pass and forces the 
card. When the one who draws the card has looked at 
it and made a mental note of it, he is requested to tear 
the card in two, then in quarters, and again and again 
until it is in small pieces. In the meantime the per- 
former takes the envelopes out of his vest pocket, and 
palming the prepared one offers the empty one to the 
person who holds the pieces of the card, with the re- 
quest that he puts the pieces into it. 

When it is returned to the performer, he turns to the 
audience and says: "I must ask the indulgence of the 
audience, but I have a craving for a cigarette. Will some 
gentleman oblige me with one?" As the attention of 
the audience is at that moment taken off the performer's 
hands, he takes advantage of it to exchange the envel- 
opes. Addressing himself to the one who drew the card, 
he says, "Will you be good enough, Sir, to keep one 



piece of the card, so as to identify it later on?" While 
saying this he opens the envelope, takes out the piece 
of card, and then sealing the envelope hands both to the 
gentleman. Noticing that some one is offering him a 
cigarette, the performer remarks: "I have some of my 
own cigarettes, but prefer one of yours." While say- 
ing this he takes from his left-hand pocket the package 
of cigarettes, shows it, and puts it back. In doing this 
he gets rid of the envelope containing the pieces of the 
card and palms the prepared cigarette. Accepting the 
proffered cigarette with his right hand he pretends to 
put it in his left, but palms it and puts the prepared 
cigarette in his mouth, saying: "With my apologies to 
the audience I will take just a whiff of this." Taking 
the box of matches from his right-hand pocket he gets 
rid of the cigarette that is palmed. He strikes a match 
and attempts to get a light, but fails. Taking the 
cigarette from his mouth to see why it does not draw, 
he picks at it for a moment. Then opening it he dis- 
covers the card, and taking it out presents it to the 
gentleman who drew it. ' ' Is that your card, Sir ? It is ? 
Thank you. Perfectly restored ?— No ? Ah, the piece is 
missing. Tou have it, Sir." The piece is produced and 
fits perfectly, proving conclusively that it is the identical 
card that was destroyed. "But where are the pieces 
that we put in the envelope ? ' ' asks the performer. The 
envelope is opened only to find that the pieces are gone 
and in their place is the tobacco of the eigarette. 

The Clock: 

This trick, which dates back many, many years, has 
been revived within the last two or three years in a 



greatly improved form. When first exhibited, the mo- 
tive power was electricity and the clock was a piece of 
fine but delicate mechanism, easily put out of order. 
After a while some clever fellow took hold of it and 
changed it so that it might be worked by a string, but 
the way in which the arrow, that serves the purpose of 
a hand, was connected with the string was decidedly 
awkward. In time, however, some other clever fellow 
remedied that by stretching the string across the frame 
from which the clock was suspended. In this way when 
hanging the clock in place, the string was caught over 
the little grooved wheel at the back of the dial, that 
keeps the arrow in place. 

Even then the trick was restricted to the use of the 
conjurer who had his own stage to work on, for it 
needed an assistant back of the scenes to pull the string, 
and that was almost an insuperable objection on the 
vaudeville stage. 

It remained for a third clever fellow an experienced 
performer, with a genius for mechanics, Mr. Frank 
Ducrot, to devise an entirely new way of working the 
trick, so as to dispense with an assistant. 

The clock is simply a dial of clear glass or what is 
better of transparent celluloid. When made of the lat- 
ter the numbers and the inner and outer ring are cast 
in one solid piece of brass, thus almost precluding the 
danger of breakage. In the center of the dial is fitted 
a brass piece with a hole to admit of a spindle. This 
spindle which is of steel, passes through the exact center, 
from the back to the face of the dial, and through a 
corresponding hole in the arrow which is thus attached, 



On the other end of this spindle is a small, deeply- 
grooved wheel. Over this wheel is a strong, black thread. 
Before exhibiting the trick, the dial is prepared by 
being set in a frame, and one end of the thread is at- 
tached to a light spiral spring concealed in the upright 
of the frame. The other end of the thread after passing 
over the groove of the wheel is carried down through 
the upright, coming out at the foot. From there it is 
led to a table, at a little distance from the frame, and 
laid on it. A sharp, black hook is tied to this end of 
the thread. In its normal position the arrow points to 
twelve, but at a pull on the free end of the thread it 
will move to any desired hour, and will be brought back 
to twelve by the action of the spring which is nicely 
adjusted. But how can the thread be pulled without 
attracting the attention of the audience ? The performer 
quietly picks up the little hook and sticks it into the 
leg of his trousers. He is now free to move away until 
the thread becomes taut. When that occurs a very 
slight movement of the leg or the least pressure of the 
body against the thread, will cause the arrow to revolve. 
It is absolutely under his control, and he can set it 
twirling round the dial if he wishes. 

Sometimes a light weight is substituted for the spring. 
If desired, the clock may be hung from a cord that is 
attached to two chairs, or in other ways, according to 
the fancy of the performer. We are indebted to the 
courtesy of the inventor of this method of working the 
trick, Mr. Frank Ducrot, for this explanation, which has 
never been published till now. 

Some performers use a loaded hand that may be set 



by means of a ratchet to point to any desired hour. This 
may be combined, with advantage, with the method first 

Wine or Water: 

"Things are not always what they seem," but though 
the wine of this capital trick is only an imitation of the 
real article, it is always well received by an audience, 
and that, from a performer's point of view, is the first 
thing to be considered. Besides, it requires very little 
practice or skill, which is a still further recommenda- 

In presenting it a China, quart pitcher, filled with 
water, and about twelve or sixteen tumblers are used. 
To prove that the water is not doctored in any way, a 
glass of it is offered to the audience and the performer 
takes a few swallows of it. He then proceeds to fill 
the tumblers, pouring into them, alternately, wine and 
water from the pitcher. 

"It may seem strange to the average man and woman," 
says the performer, "that at my own sweet will I can 
pour from a pitcher that is absolutely not prepared in 
any way, wine or water. But one thing must be re- 
membered, that when the surrounding atmosphere has 
become thoroughly impregnated with the fumes of the 
wine, especially a wine produced by a weird magical 
process, it becomes exceedingly difficult for most people 
to distinguish whether wine or water fills the glasses. 
Many of you may imagine that these glasses are filled 
with water ; others are positive that they are filled with 
wine; while still others, looking with a somewhat dis- 
torted vision, see both wine and water. There is noth- 



ing in the pitcher, as you all may see. Let us fill it 
again." Here he empties the contents of the glasses 
mto the pitcher, and almost immediately refills the 
glasses. "And now see what we have— wine, the pure 
juice of the grape. Once more, let us fill the pitcher." 
As he says this he empties the glasses into the pitcher, 
and then refilling them there appears to be nothing but 
water. He calls attention to this, and then, correcting 
himself, adds: "Excuse me, I have made a mistake. 
There is one glass of wine." 

For a third time he empties the glasses into the pitcher, 
and pours out all wine, and finally turning it back into 
the pitcher, ends the trick by filling all the glasses with 
water, with which he started. 

As our readers probably surmise this is a chemical 
trick, and the solutions for it are made as follows :— 
^ Six of the glasses are perfectly clean; in each of 
six others there is one drop of strong tincture of iron, 
put in about half an hour before attempting to exhibit 
the trick. Two other glasses are about half filled with 
a saturated solution of oxalic acid (a deadly poison) 
in water, and in another is some strong ammonia. To 
prevent the fumes of the latter from passing into the 
room, the glass is covered with a heavy napkin folded 
several times. Last of all, a glass is quarter filled with 
a saturated solution of tannin in water. 

In a row on the performer's table are the six clean 
glasses and the six containing the iron solution, ar- 
ranged alternately. Behind these, in the following or- 
der, are the glass containing tannin, one glass with acid, 
the one with the ammonia, and the second one with acid! 

To begin, the performer fills a clean glass and the 



glass with tannin with water from the pitcher. The 
eleart glass he offers to the audience, but seldom finds 
any one to take it; then he takes a swallow of it him- 
self. Then he empties both glasses into the pitcher, 
thus adding the tannin to what was pure water. Next 
he fills the clean glasses and those containing the iron 
with water from the pitcher and they will seem to be 
filled alternately with water and with wine. Turning 
the contents of the glasses into the pitcher, and refilling 
the tumblers at once, they are all filled with wine. 
Before filling the last glass the performer takes hold of 
one of the acid glasses in such a way as to conceal its 
contents, and, as he fills it, says: "All wine— no ! here 
we have water and here" filling the twelfth glass, "is 
wine." When the pitcher is again filled from the 
glasses, the acid that goes in with the others bleaches 
the solution perfectly and on filling the glasses again 
nothing but water is seen. Picking up the glass that 
holds the ammonia and filling it, it appears to hold 
wine, but of a lighter color than any of the other glasses. 
Turning the contents of the glasses into the pitcher, 
wine is again produced, the ammonia nullifying the 
action of the acid. Once more the glasses are filled with 
wine with the exception of the second acid glass, which 
the performer has filled. Finally, the pitcher is again 
filled and when the contents are poured out for the 
last time, it is found there is nothing but water, "Which 
is only right," says the performer, "for as we begin so 
shall we end." 

Let us advise our readers who would attempt the 
trick to experiment first for the proper proportions of 
acid, tannin, and ammonia, as they vary in strength, 



always bearing in mind that the smaller the quantity 
used, the better it will be. Let us also caution experi- 
menters to empty the pitcher and glasses into a sink 
as soon as the trick is finished as the solutions are 
deadly poisons. 

Some performers affect to sneer at this trick because 
neither the water nor the wine may be drank after the 
first glass has been emptied. Yet Mr. Kellar, who was 
supposed to stand high in his profession, frequently in- 
cluded it in his program, and in our experience of many 
years we do not remember that we ever heard any ob- 
jection to^ it from the audience. To silence the cap- 
tious critics, however, we present her? formulas for 
liquids that produce nearly the same effects as those 
already described, and yet may be drank at any stage of 
the trick. Who originated them we do not know or we 
should be glad to give credit for them. 

In presenting the trick a glass pitcher holding about a 
pint of water, and five whisky glasses, that hold about 
four ounces each, are brought forward on a tray. In 
the pitcher, besides the water, is about half a teaspoon- 
f ul of liquor potassaj ; glass No. 1 contains three to four 
drops of a solution made by dissolving in an ounce of 
alcohol as much phenol-phthaleine powder as will cover 
a dime ; glass No. 2 is clean ; glass No. 3 contains another 
three or four drops of the phenol-phthaleine solution; 
glass No. 4 contains a pinch of powdered tartaric acid 
dissolved in a little water; and glass No. 5 is prepared 
the same as Nos. 1 and 3. 

In beginning the trick the performer picks up the 
pitcher and pours into the glasses alternately, start- 
ing with No. 1, wine, water, wine, water, wine. 



He then mixes the contents of Nos. 1 and 2, when 
both will become wine. To show that he really uses 
water the performer takes a swallow of No. 4 ; then pick- 
ing up No. 3 (wine) he is about to drink it, but just 
as it reaches his mouth it turns to water, which he 
drinks. Following this, he mixes Nos. 4 and 5, when lo ! 
both glasses contain water. 

The contents of Nos. 1 and 2 are poured into the 
pitcher when all is seen to change to wine. Nos. 3, 4, 
and 5 are now poured into the pitcher when the entire 
contents become water. 

The effect of changing wine into water just as the 
performer is about to drink it is brought about in this 
way: Just before he picks up glass No. 3, the per- 
former takes a mouthful of the acid solution in No. 
4, but instead of swallowing it, he keeps it in his mouth. 
As he lifts No. 3 to his mouth, he ejects into it the acid 
solution from his mouth, causing the "wine" to change 
to ' * water, ' ' which he then drinks. 

The liquor potassse must be kept in a green glass bottle 
and be tightly corked. 

There is nothing harmful in any of these solutions 
and the performer may drink them — wine or water or 
both — without experiencing any bad effects, though, per- 
sonally, we do not believe that such concoctions were 
ever meant for the human stomach. 

The Blackboard Test: 

The performer seats his assistant, generally a young 
girl, on the stage, and between her and the footlights 
he stands a small blackboard. Then he invites one of 
the audience to come on the stage to act as a com- 



mittee. Supposing that the girl is on the left of the 
stage (which is the right of the audience) the performer 
seats the committeeman on the extreme right. The 
blackboard is between them, and while the man can see 
its face from where he sits the girl is too far back to 
get even a glimpse of it. The performer asks the man 
to write three lines of five numbers each, one line under 
another. Before the man begins, the performer blind- 
folds the girl. To "make assurance doubly sure" he 
folds two small kid gloves into a wad and places one 
in each eye of the girl and over these he binds a hand- 
kerchief. "All light being now shut out," he says, 
' ' please write down your numbers. ' ' When this is done, 
the girl adds up the lines. The secret of the trick is 
that the performer adds up the columns mentally and 
then by cues conveys to the girl the particular numbers 
that she needs to know. These cues are used in sen- 
tences addressed to the committee-man in a low voice 
that does not reach the audience. The performer never 
speaks to the girl, unless she makes a mistake. In that 
case he gives her the proper cues. These cues consist of 
the first consonant of the first word in the sentence. To 
make this clear let us suppose that 

1 is represented by T or D, as in This, That, There, Do, Does, Don't 

2 " " " N, as in Now, Name 

3 « " " I, " " I, In 

4 " " " R, " " Right, Write 

5 " " " L, " " Let, Look, Well, Will 

6 " " " J, " " Just 

7 " " " hard, as in Can, Come, Quick, Go 

8 " " " H, as in Have, Here, How 

9 " " " P or B, as in Please, Be good 
« " " S, as in See, Sir 



Let us illustrate this by supposing that the eommittee- 
man writes the following numbers : 

9 7 5 3 1 . ■ , 

'2 4 6 8 

1 3 5 7 9 • " 

These add up 135,790. The performer foots up the 
first column mentally, and turning to the committeeman, 
who is to add up the column and write the sum, he 


says, for instance: "That will do. See that your fig- 
ures are plain." The girl mumbles to herself, as if 
adding up the figures and calls out, "Put down naught 
and carry one." For the second column the performer 

1 9 

may say: "There, that's good. Please move so that 
the audience can see. ' ' Again the girl begins to mumble, 
and says: "Nineteen. Put down nine and carry one. " 
For the third column, which adds up 17, he may say: 

1 7 

"That's fine. Quick work, isn't it?" For the fourth 

1 5 

column, "Down, all right. Well, go on;" for the fifth 

1 8 

column: "That's all. I am obliged. Sir." The au- 
dience do not hear and the committeeman imagines that 
he is merely speaking in praise of the girl's work, and 

When the sum of the columns is written down, the 
performer hands the committeeman a light cane and 
requests him to point out or rather to touch some num- 
ber. He does so and at the same moment the girl calls 
out the number. In this way three or four numbers 



are told. For this phase of the trick the performer uses 
other cues which he addresses to the committeeman. He 
is watched closely and just as his stick is about to 
touch a number the performer says (1) "Any one" — 
(2) "Any number;"— (3) "Any number you choose;" 
— (4) "Take any;"— (5) "Take any number;"— (6) 
"Take any number you wish;"— (7) "Choose any;"— 
(8) "Choose any number;" — (9) "Choose any number 
you wish"— (0) "All right." 

When the committeeman is through the performer 
picks up the stick and rapidly points from one num- 
ber to another, the girl, as rapidly, calling out the name. 
This is, simply a line of prearranged numbers, as, for 
example, the years in which the girl and the performer 
were born, but called out backward. Those familiar 
with the mnemonic cues, on page 310, will tind it easy 
if they will take a line from some familiar song, as, 

121 433940 1 60 98 

for instance, "Don't you remember Sweet Alice, Ben 

951 57539 9 521 

Bolt," or "Hail Columbia Happy Land." Now and 
then, by previous arrangement, the performer points 
above or below a number, and the answer, "There's 
nothing there," is generally greeted with a laugh. 

In describing the blindfolding of the girl we mentioned 
that the performer first placed a kid glove over each eye. 
This, instead of blinding her further, really helps her to 
see, for when the performer is putting the handkerchief 
around her eyes, she assists him by holding it, and at 
the same time moves the gloves so that they are on her 
eyebrows. This keeps the handkerchief away from her 
eyes, and she is enabled by looking down to see what is 
going on. 



Another way of conveying the numbers is by the posi- 
tion on the back of the board of the fingers of the 
hand that holds the blackboard, as shown in the illus- 
trations. Number 1 is represented by turning in the 
first finger ; number 2 by turning in the first and second 

fingers; number 3 by the first, second, and third fingers 
turned in, and number 4 by turning in all four fingers. 
For number 5 three fingers lie flat and the second finger 
of the hand is turned in, the 3 and 2 equaling 5; num- 
bers 6 and 7 are shown in the same way, that is, three 

fingers are flat and the third finger of the hand is turned 
in, in the one case, and three are fiat and the fourth 
finger of the hand is turned in the second. Number 8 
has all four fingers lying flat, and number 9, all four 



fingers flat, but spread apart. For the index finger 
and the little finger lie flat and the second and third 
fingers are turned in. For 10 the four fingers lie flat, 

but the index is spread away from the others; for 20 
the four fingers also lie flat, but the forefinger and 
the second are kept together but spread apart from 
the others; for 30 the four fingers are again laid flat 
with the little finger spread apart from the others. 

There is still another way of communicating numbers, 
and that is by dividing the face and the body into 
squares by imaginary perpendicular and horizontal lines. 
Each of these imaginary squares is numbered, say, as 
shown in Fig. 191 : The right side of the forehead,= No. 
1; the right ear,= No. 4; the right jaw,= No. 7; the 
middle of the forehead,= No. 2 ; the nose,=. No. 5 ; the 
chin,= No. 8; the left side of the forehead, = No. 3; the 
left ear,= No. 6 ; the left jaw,= No. 9 ; any part of the 
neck or throat,= 0. In the same way, the body is di- 
vided: The upper right side on a line with the shoul- 
der,= 1; the right side, lower down,= 4; near the right 
lower pocket of the vest,= 7 ; the upper part of the 
Ibody, just below the chin,= 2 ; about the pit of the 
stomach,= 5; about the center of the waist,— 8; the 



upper left side, on a line with the shoulder, = 3 ; about 
the center of the left side,= 6; the region of the left 
lower pocket of the vest,= 9 ; and at the bottom of the 
vest in the center,= 0. In addition to this, the stage 
curtain or the space it occupies is also divided into 

Pig. 191 

imaginary lines, numbered in the same way, and by 
looking up or down or straight ahead; by turning the 
head to either side, and directing his glance toward the 
spot occupied by these imaginary numbers, the performer 
can give his assistant any number in the imaginary 
squares. At other times numbers, especially the decades 
ten, twenty, and thirty are signaled by taking a step 
forward, backward or to one side, as agreed upon be- 
tween the performer and his assistant. By combining 
these various methods any number under a thousand 
may be conveyed, rapidly and imperceptibly. Of 



course a great deal of tact is needed in order to^ give 
the cues in a natural way, so as not to excite suspicion. 
That it is done successfully is unquestionable, but not 
to any great extent for two reasons; first, it is not 
generally understood, and secondly, it requires consid- 
erable rehearsing. 

Much thought has been spent on the diflferent silent 
methods of communicating numbers. One of these is 
synchronous counting, that is, two people count together 
in the same time, studying this by means of a metronome. 
This requires a very correct ear, and at best is liable to 
errors. Another and better method is that in which 
the performer counts the breathing of his assistant by 
watching the rise and fall of her breast. The most 
simple and in our opinion the best is by means of our 
reliable old friend, a length of fine black silk thread. 
One end of this is tied to the assistant's thumb, the rest 
of it she holds in her hand. "When the performer 
bandages her eyes, she passes the thread to him. He 
takes his position alongside the blackboard, and by a 
prearranged system of long and short jerks conveys to 
her the required numbers. 

A well known performer gives a very striking example 
of what he calls his control of his wife's mind by allow- 
ing some person to select any page in a book and to choose 
a line in that book. He holds the book and his wife soon 
after opens a second copy of it at the page selected and 
begins to read at the very line chosen. Our readers will 
at once see how easy it is to convey to her the number 
of the page and the line by means of his fingers at the 
back of the book, combined with one or more of the 
methods we have described. 



A Water Trick: 

This is considered one of the best of the tricks pro- 
duced in recent years. When the curtain goes up seven 
large metal jars are seen standing in a row on a board. 
This rests with one end on the back of a chair and the 
other on a small table that also supports a tub. In 
order that our explanation may be clear let us suppose 
that the jars are numbered 1 to 7, beginning with the 
one on the left of the stage. Picking up Number One, 
the performer holds it with its mouth toward the au- 
dience, to show that it is empty, and to prove that 
Number Two also is empty, he drops Number One into 
it. A moment later he removes Number One and 
places it on the board in its original position. He con- 
tinues in this way, first showing a jar empty and then 
dropping it momentarily into another until all the jars 
are shown to be empty. When Number Six is taken 
out of Number Seven the performer shakes a duck out 
of the latter, and then proceeds to pour from the jars, 
beginning with Number Six, enough water to fill the 

Should you ask us whence the water and the bird, 
we, in the language of Hiawatha, 

"... should answer your inquiries 
Straightway in such words as follow : " 

While only seven jars are seen by the audience at 
any one time, thirteen are used in the trick. Six of 
these are perfect, while each of the seven others has a 
longitudinal oval hole near the bottom. As they appear 
on the board at the start Number One, which has a 
hole in it, stands first. Number Two is made up of 



two jars, the outer jar with a hole in it, the inner jar 
perfect (really a lining) and nearly filled with water. 
Five other jars are arranged in the same way. Care 
is taken always to cover the hole in a jar, so that it 
may not be seen by the audience. 

To begin the trick the performer picks tip the first 
jar, which, the reader will remember, has a hole in it 
and is not double, and holding it with the mouth toward 
the audience, remarks, "This jar, as you may see, is 
absolutely empty, and so also is this next one." As he 
says this he drops Number One into Number Two and 
immediately brings it out again, and with it the perfect 
lining of Number Two. Number One is now filled with 
water, and the performer stands it in its place on the 
board. Then he picks up Number Two, which is now 
without its lining and has a hole in it, drops it into 
Number Three and at once takes it out with the lining 
of Number Three. In this way he goes on to the end. 

Pig. 192 

The dotted lines show, the hidden jar with the hole. 

All the jars are now full, except Number Seven, which 
has a hole in it and is without lining. This he picks up 
and shows it is empty. He rests it for a moment on 
the end of the little table with the mouth toward him, 
ostensibly to move the tub a little. As he leans forward, 



his left Hand seizes a duck that lies, tied up, at the back 
of the table, and brings it up into the mouth of the 
jar. This is not done rapidly as that would attract at- 
tention, but by drawing back the left side, which is away 
from the audience, and leaning forward with the right 
and stretching out the right arm, as if to move the 
tub, he introduces the duck into the jar. Then the right 
hand grasps the lower end of the jar, and shakes the 
duck out on to the stage. Immediately following this he 
catches up Number Six, empties it into the tub and fol- 
lows it with the other jars until the tub is filled with 

One performer substitutes lemonade for water and 
serves it to his audience. 


Flash Paper: 

The following reliable formula for this most useful article in 
constant use by conjurers was furnished to the editors by one 
of the most eminent chemists in this country. If the instruc- 
tions are faithfully followed, the paper will be white, bum 
without an ash, and will not rot. 

1. The best white tissue paper must be used, and it ought 
to be cut into pieces of the required size. 

2. Make a mixture of strong sulphuric acid, 4 volumes, and 
fuming nitric acid (sp. gr. 1.52), 5 volumes. 

The first-named acid is to be poured into the second, stirring 
all the time with a glass rod. The mixture will be very hot, 
and must be left till cold before it is used (preferably, 24 
hours). If the mixture is made in a jar the jar must be 
covered with a plate to keep out atmospheric moisture. 

3. Pour some of the mixture into a glass or porcelain dish, 
as, for example, a dish used in photography, and put into it 
about ten sheets of paper, one at a time, pressing down each 
sheet with glass rods, one in each hand. When the sheets 
have soaked for ten minutes, take them out one at a time 
and turn them rapidly into a large volume of water. 

4. If the sheets when taken from the acid are put into a 
small volume of water they will heat up, become jellified, arid 
be of no use. 

5. After the first washing, the sheets must be put into a 
convenient vessel through which a stream of water is kept 
running for at least two hours. 

6. While this final wash is going on, a fresh batch of paper 




may be put into the same acid in the dish, as that acid is good 
for about fifty sheets, or five batches. 

7. Lastly, the thoroughly washed sheets must be placed, sepa- 
rately, between sheets of blotting paper and left to dry, which 
will take five or six days. 

Conjurer's Wax: 

This wax, which is repeatedly called for in descriptions of 
various tricks, may be made by dissolving by heat in a porce- 
lain dish pure yellow beeswax, and gradually adding pure 
Venice turpentine, stirring it constantly with a glass rod. 
Care must be taken that it does not catch fire while it is being 
mixed. The usual proportion is one part of turpentine to 
two of wax, but as a great deal depends on the quality of the 
wax and the turpentine, experiment alone can determine the 

The editors are using wax that was prepared ten or fifteen 
years ago from this identical formula. 

Rope Tying: 

The best rope for these tricks is Silver Lake sash cord. No. 
8, the soft kind. It should first be well soaked in benzine and 
then be washed out with soap and water. 

The Servants: 

At the back of the conjurer's table is usually a padded shelf 
technically known as a servante, a French word that means 
dumb waiter. The name, however, is not appropriate in this 
case, for so far from being dumb it answers the performer's 
purposes very effectually. This shelf extends nearly the whole 
length of the table. On it the conjurer lays such articles as he 
may need to pick up without being seen by the audience. He 
also drops on it articles he may want to get rid of. The 
servante is made in different shapes according to the needs and 



fancy of the performer. Sometimes it is only a strong paper 
bag reinforced by muslin strips and hung at the back of a 
chair. At other times it is a canvas bag fitted to a wire frame 
and suspended by small hooks to the back of a chair or a 
table. One performer, Ducrot, when entertaining in a private 
house uses an ingenious servante, made to resemble a handker- 
chief, and this he throws carelessly on top of his table. It is 
arranged on a small metal frame so that part of it forms a 
bag that will hold a large orange. Two small pieces of spring 
steel serve as clamps to hold it on the table. Extending about 
it on all sides is a dark silk handkerchief. When the per- 
former is done with it he deliberately folds it up and sticks it 
in his pocket without arousing the slightest suspicion. 

A Pull: 

A simple putt is made of black elastic cord. It should be 
of such length that when stretched one end may be attached 
to a button of the trousers on either the right or the left side, 
and from there passed inside the vest, across the perform- 
er's back and down the opposite sleeve, ending in a loop of 
strong black thread that goes over one of the cuff buttons. 
When it is needed to vanish, say, a handkerchief, the per- 
former draws the loop into his hand, runs the handkerchief 
through the loop, and then releasing it, away goes the handker- 
chief up the sleeve. 

The only trouble with this pull is, that the elastic loses its 
elasticity and for that reason is not altogether reliable. A 
better pull is made by substituting a strong black cord for the 
elastic. At one end of the cord is a loop to go over the 
trousers' button; to the other end is fastened a piece of fine 
catgut ending in a large loop. The right arm is bent at the 
elbow and held at the side. The catgut loop goes over the 
right thumb. To vanish the handkerchief it is passed through 
the catgTit loop; then the arms are extended to full length and 
the handkerchief disappears in a flash. In using this pull 


the performer has to call it to his aid as soon after he comes 
on the stage as possible, on account of the constramed posi- 
tion of his arm. 

There are other pulls, mainly mechanical, that rely on a 
cord attached to a spring barrel. When noiseless, some of 
them are good, but the second method that we have described 
is the best and most reliable, when it can be used at the be- 
ginning of the trick. Instead of fastening the cord to the 
trousers' buttons some performers have it hanging just outside 
the armhole of the vest. A rmg is on the end of it, and 
when it is to be used the performer gets hold of this and gives 
it a sharp pull. A little practice will soon satisfy a performer 
, as to which method he prefers. 

A Slip Knot: 

In the description on page 183 of "A Handkerchief with 
Seven Corners," a slip knot is mentioned. This is made 
by first tying a square knot, as shown here. One comer of 

Fig. 193 S'ig- 194 

A square knot. How to tie a square knot, 

the handkerchief, which is here printed in black, to make the 
description clearer, is taken in one hand and the body of the 
handkerchief corresponding to that comer in the other hand, 
just below the knot. Then it is pulled. The result will be 
that one comer will be tied round the other, as shown here. 
"While it has all the appearance of a fair knot, one comer 
may be pulled entirely out without destroying the folds in 
any way. A silk handkerchief must be used, as one of linen 
or muslin is apt to jam.